Nepal’s Alok Khatri becomes the country’s first Ironman after he finished the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon race in six hours, 44 minutes and 49 minutes in Langkawi, Malaysia on October 26, 2019.
This is Nepal’s first appearance at the international event which witnessed the participation of 70 different countries.
Ironman 70.3 is one of the most difficult one-day sports events in the world, including a 1.9 km ocean swim, 90 km cycling and 21.1 km run.
Khatri was coached by 24-time Indian Ironman finisher Kaustabh Radkar and Elite National Swimmer Sudip Rajbhandari.
Speaking about Khatri’s achievement Coach Radkar said that he was happy about Khatri’s achievement in the tough Ironman 70.3 triathlon race.
“In the end, his hard work paid off and he became the first Ironman race completer from Nepal,” he said.
Rajbhandari recalled his first meeting with Khatri stating that he was not even able to swim 25 meters on the first day.
“I was shocked because he approached me saying he wanted to compete in Ironman, one of the hardest one-day sporting events. After a few days of training I saw potential in him as he was very hard working. So I decided to train him even as the event was just six months away,” said Rajbhandari.
The Ironman race was first introduced in the US in 1978 and was organized by US Naval Commander John Collins and his wife. The first event witnessed the participation of 15 individuals in Hawai, USA.
“It was my childhood dream to be an athlete, I started training because I wanted to pose myself a challenge that would feel farfetched. Ironman to me seemed like a perfect fit so I trained for it relentlessly, my trainings lasted from two to six hours a day for one and a half year,” said Khatri.
He plans to continue participating in the race event in the years to come with the goal of achieving the World Championship Slot.