UNIVERSITI Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) were crowned champions for achieving the best cumulative results throughout the MUDS tri-legged run-bike-run challenge held at the UPNM campus in Sungai Besi.
UPNM also won the top spots in the men’s university, men’s relay and mixed relay categories in the final leg of the race held at the host venue in Sungai Besi.
Lim Shimri was the toast of the team when he bagged a hat-trick, leaving last year’s overall champion Chan Jun Shen in fourth place in the final series of the competition.
“I am glad one of my team-mates won the overall title although my record has yet to be beaten,’’ said Jun Shen, a final-year UPNM student.
Jun Shen said although he would be graduating this year, he had tasted much success in the MUDS series and hoped to be back as a contender if he decided to take up a Masters degree course at UPNM.
In addition, UPNM also bagged the top university trophy that came with RM3,000 for entering the most number of participants.
“MUDS is in its sixth year and it is organised as part of our initiative to boost the duathlete community in Malaysia,’’ said Malakoff corporate affairs and external relations head Yusop Rashid.
He said that he was pleased with the enthusiastic response from participants, especially with young amateurs and beginners performing their best in all three legs of the series. Given the encouraging support, he added that Malakoff would continue to champion MUDS in the future.
This year’s competition drew a sizable number of participants from the expatriate community including Algeria, Australia, India, Mauritius, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
In the final series, spanning a distance of a 3km run-13.8km bike-3km run, the winners of the university category were Lim Shimri and Lydia Tan Shenh Ai from Queenstown Resort College (women’s category), while Rikigoro Shinozuka and Zoe Natasha Bowden won the men’s and women’s Open respectively. The men’s relay category saw Muhd Hifzhudin Noor Aziz and his teammates claiming the top spot.
Shimri said he was delighted to have won the top spot and the university winning the trophy.
“I have taken part in longer distances. This race really tested me and one has to be fit as it is competed on a shorter distance. I am glad that the countless hours of training and hard work I have put in have come to fruition. My win will definitely encourage me to prepare even harder to retain the title next year,’’ added Shimri.
Apart from students from the host university, the series also attracted students from over 30 universities and colleges including Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), International Islamic University and Universiti Utara Malaysia, among others. A total of 750 took part in all the three series.
A first-time participant in MUDS, the 20-year-old Shimri, a medical student, was also elated as he scored the top spot beating all seasoned favourites hands-down in all three legs of the series.
“I feel great to win and it was such an adrenaline rush to be competing against my friends who pushed me to perform even better during the race,’’ added Shimri.
The finale at UPNM was preceded by races at UM and UPM over the past two consecutive weekends. The first leg at UM involved a 3.5km run-11.4km bike-3.5km run race, while the second leg at UPM was a 3km run-13km bike-3km run race.
At the end of each leg, the top five winners in the University and Open categories as well as the top three winners of the Team and Media categories were awarded placing medals.
Sakhir Zohir from Algeria, who came in second in the Open category said, “I enjoyed the race as it was a good opportunity for me to meet other duathletes from various backgrounds.’’
Zohir said he was impressed with the way the race was organised and looked forward to participating in future sporting events organised by Malakoff.