Interview #3 – Zoe Bowden

Currently alot of new talent coming up in Malaysia, and there are some really good talent out there. And there are more and more Triathlon coaches out there as well in Malaysia to bring the talent up. At the moment there is this one particular young triathlete by the name of Zoe that is winning alot of races at the moment not only locally but also in the region. We got in contact with Zoe (and mom to get permission) and she was more than happy to do the interview. ūüôā


Azhar (A): Hi Zoe how are you?

Zoe (Z): Very well, thank you.

A: How long have you been doing Triathlons?

Z: About 4 years now.

A:  How has your year been for you so far?

Z: So far so good and everyday is a learning process for me. I see obstacles as a challenge rather than something to fear.

A: Do you think Triathlon should be included into SUKMA as a new sport?

Z:¬†Yes definitely and I don‚Äôt see any reasons why it¬†shouldn’t¬†be included as this is the toughest sport with 3 disciplines‚Äô at one time.

A: And do you think it will bring Triathlon to new heights and the recognition it deserves?

Z: Yes it will especially for female triathletes as they are not many of them around.  It should be introduced to the younger aspiring athletes and be made known to the Ministry of Education and Malaysia Sports Council that this is also as important as other sports, not just any sports but the most challenging triathlon!

A: What is your sporting background and when did you switched to Triathlon?

Z: My main background is swimming and middle distance running. I basically did not change to triathlon but was persuaded to give it a try by my former Head of Primary, Mr Neil Smith who is also an Ironman.

A: Wow, your teacher is a triathlete as well!

A: Was it an easy process switching to Triathlon?

Z: I did not have any problems with the running and swimming as they are my two my major disciplines.  It was a matter of training hard on the bike and getting used to the idea that this is a continuous sport with one starting with swimming and then moving onto biking and running.

A: What was the toughest part when starting doing Triathlons?

Z: Cycling as it was not my major and the thought of falling off from the bike at a fast speed.

A: You recently attended an ITU/ASTC Triathlon Camp for Juniors and U23, how was that as an experience and how much did you learn there at the Camp?

Z: I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to learn from the renowned Luc Morin from Canada and Woo-Kyong Ki (Korea) plus the Singapore coaches and our home-based Malaysian coaches. The firsthand experience enabled me to think about things I never thought were important like if the bike is not fitted properly (they call it bike fit to your proportion) or your helmet is cracked (none of us knew how to detect this). I even learned that for females with long hair like me they must know the proper way of tying it up to fit to the helmet position so as to prevent any injury if one were to fall and hit their head. The most important thing that I learned during the camp were basic skills and safety was our fundamental foundation in being a good triathlete. I also realized that many years of hard and perseverance are required in becoming successful.

A: Was that your first Triathlon Training Camp you attended?

Z: Yes it was the first camp I have attended and I hope to be able to do more so as to broaden my knowledge in triathlon as there so many things to learn, sharing inputs and the experience of triathletes from different countries.

A: Can you still remember your first Triathlon race and were there many mistakes you made?

Z: My first Triathlon was the Young Endurance Triathlon which was in Putrajaya in 2009. The only mistakes I made were being nervous and not being sure of what to do. This caused me to slow down so as I would not miss anything.

A: What was your best moment in Triathlon?

Z: Being first on the podium, at the ITU Subic Bay International Triathlon in May, 2012. It was the most memorable day of my life when the Malaysian National Anthem was played the first time and I did Malaysia proud!

A: cool!!  You think there is any difference in racing outside of Malaysia?

Z: Yes, there is a difference in Malaysia as most of the time when I go for races, I will be racing with the same people and while not wanting to sound arrogant, you will roughly know where you stand so racing out of the country is different. There are a lot of competitors that you have not met and raced with and this is where the challenge lies. This is where you really have to work hard and think what should I be doing, what is my strategy in this race and lastly what is my aim and mentally you have to be prepared. The worst thing is to travel all the way and you are not prepared to face whatever comes to you.

A: What do you do in your spare time besides Triathlon?

Z:¬†I really don’t have spare time as I do swimming in the evening every day as I swim with the PRAKL (Persatuan Renang Amatur Kuala Lumpur) Elite Swim Team and I swim for the state that is WP (Wilayah Persekutuan). In the afternoon after school before the swim, I go for my track training together with the Kuala Lumpur Sports School Team. Don’t get me wrong, but I do enjoy doing all this. Triathlon is only done during the weekends. After that I go out to a shopping mall or watch a movie with my parents. Other than that eating is the next spare time activity that I do some evenings with some friends I grew up. Each¬†night I try to read a few pages of a book too.




Age (2012):  13

Height:  163cm

Current Coach:   Peter Lau/Andy Yeo

Sport Hero:   Swimming(Missy Franklin), Athletics (Mo Farah) and Cycling(Mark Cavendish), Ironman Legends (Jurgen Zack and Chrissie Wellington)

Years in Triathlon:   4

Favorite Workout:   I don’t have any in particular as these three disciplines are my favorites.

Fav Food: ¬†¬†Pasta ‚Äď Bolognaise.

Fav drink:   Berries and yoghurt smoothie my Mum makes.

Shoutouts:  Chill!!



A: Anything you would like to add about you?

Z:   The only thing I would like to say is I hope one day, I am able to make it to the most prestigious race i.e. the Ironman race in Kona, Hawaii and the Olympics!

A: Zoe thanks alot for your time and all the best with your future races! ¬†ūüôā

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