MetaSprint Aquathlon 2019 Singapore, Rahul Jegatheva

Rahul Jegatheva - MetaSprint Aquathlon 2019 Singapore, February 17, 2019

Under bright blue skies on Sentosa Island's Palawan Beach in Singapore on the morning of the 17th of February 2019, a young 17 year old from Joondanna, WA, beat the entire international field of 1,073 athletes including many veterans of the Asian and World Ironman and Triathlon circuits winning a trifecta of Aquathlon titles at the Singapore MetaSprint Series. These include the The Champion of Champions title, The Elite Men category and the 16-19 Age category. Rahul Jegatheva, who commences study at the University of Western Australia this week completed the course comprising a 750m swim and 5km run in 28 minutes and 52 seconds, winning by 27 seconds over Oliver Rios Trot of the UK and Benoit Besnier of France. The stacked field of elite athletes included 2018 MetaSprint Aquathlon winner Tim Cosulich of Italy, Indonesia's fleet footed Jauhari Johan, fastest age grouper at the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Bintan Assad Attamimi, and Singapore triathlon prodigy Nicholas Rachmadi. The best swimmer in the field, Rahul forged a gap of 21 seconds over Rachmadi at the end of the swim, with Trott 44 seconds behind. Then it became a battle to hold off the 3 gun runners, Besnier, Johan and Singaporean, Dr Gen Lin Foo. Rachmadi fell away as Trot gained some ground with Besnier surging, but Rahul overcame all of this to take out his first overall elite win, putting him in good shape to defend his 19&U Australian national title in April in Queensland before another assault on the Junior World title in Spain in May, having come agonisingly close in Denmark in 2018 when he clinched the silver at the Triathlon ITU Multisport World Championships.
The Aquathlon is the traditional opening leg of the MetaSprint Series, with a Duathlon (Bike/Run) and the Triathlon to follow in a few weeks and each leg has a Champion of Champions title, which is in effect an Equalizer "battle of the sexes" race within a race. Here the Elite Women start 3 minutes and 25 seconds ahead of the Elite Men. Here Canada's April Rice was attempting to retain the crown for the women until Rahul sped past at the 2.5km mark of the run. “I put on my shoes and I ran the best race I could,” he said.

The significance of the upcoming national and world championships in Australia's Gold Coast and the River Lerez in Pontevedra, Spain has increased exponentially by the Aquathlon discipline of the Triathlon being included by the Association of Olympic Councils in the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego, USA in October 2019. Both these events are qualifying events for the World Games, and strong performances in them will give Rahul a realistic shot of clinching one of the coveted spots, as only the top 24 ranked elite athletes in the world will receive an invitation.

Asked what he attributed his win to, Rahul said, "It's a lot of hard work, and balancing training for the 2 disciplines, running and swimming, and I also train on the bike as well. It has not been easy to try and get back into it after a 6 month break where I was focused on my Year 12 exams. I could not have done this without the support of my coaches and teammates. Professor Grant Landers of the UWA Triathlon Club is my run and bike coach, Eoin Carroll of Perth City Swimming Club is my swim coach and the North Coast Triathlon Club is where I get to focus on Aquathlon as they have a 12-race Aquathlon series every summer which is fantastic."
Full Results from the 17th of Feb


Rahul with his grandpa and aunt