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Interviewing Sonic Asian Champion - Ivan Lo

1st of May 2010 is the glorious day for Hong Kong, also for the 21 years old young man Ivan Lo Ching Hin, grow up in Chai Wan, member of Team Sonic Triathletes, representing Hong Kong to race Subic Bay ASTC U23 Triathlon Asian Championships, clocked a beautiful 18:31mins swim, 1:06hrs bike and 36:19mins run, first man cross the finish line at 2:00:52, lead exactly 1min ahead of another contender from Japan.

With this exciting news to HK Triathlon scene, also to Team Sonic, the Club Secretary connected across the South China Sea, and the Oceania, to this newly crowned Asian Champion, Ivan Lo who studies and trains at New Zealand, about these and those! 

What have been up to you since you got the ITU Asian Championship U23 Champion title?
I have not been doing much after that. As I remember I was still having a hard week afterward, my coach told me I have to push one more week then I can rest for 2weeks, so I raced the HK sprint on last Sunday with 20hrs training in that week. I felt quite tired though, but at least its worth. I proved myself and showed the people where I at at the moment. Unfortunately I can first for sure. Out of it, I was hanging out with my mates and family most of the time. Because I have to get back to NZ for a month for base training, which is ready for the Beijing ITU (Part of asian Games qualify),world cups(not sure which one yet) and World Championships in Hungary(already qualified).

Anything different after you crowned the champion?
Well, definitely there are so much different from the past. Especially my family were looking so much happier then before. Because they think the time proved what I've done in these 1.5yrs in NZ. On the other side, about the other people around tri, they used to have expectation on me, but I was letting them down, and disappointed for what I did. Nowadays, they found me a consistence triathlete, not just worked hard and have to be smart, make the right choice. They were so surprised when I came 1st in Asian Champs. The main reason is there is no one done it since 2006 (Andrew Wright U23 Asian Champion). I am the 4th of the HK Triathlete who came 1st in Asian Champ title, 1st is Brandon something(Junior title),2nd is Lee Chi Wo(Junior title), 3rd is Andrew Wright(U23 title) then 4th is me(U23 title). I am the part of the history now, which is great! At the same time, my sponsors gave me more support, especially the equipments.

What does a typical week schedule for you in NZ?
Normally, I train 24-26hrs a week for average hours. Maximum will up to 30-31hrs a week(Including 4hrs University from Mon-Fri, 9am-1/2pm). I swim 6times a week ,which is about 28-31km. I bike everyday basically(I ride to Uni and swim everyday), which is about 350km a week. I run 5-6times a week, which is about 75-80km. Every week will have different major sessions, but there are no more than 3 major sets for a week. A block for building up, which is 2.5weeks to 3weeks, then 1 to 1.5weeks for resting/recovery.


What is the triathlon scene in the Kiwi land? Do you do training with NZ team?
Firstly, triathlon is a major sport in NZ since 2004 Hamish Carter came 1st and Bevan Docherty came 2nd in Olympic, at the same year Bevan also grabbed a gold medal in Madrid the world championships. The development in NZ are so much better than any of Asian countries. Their strong promotion can compare to ITU. In the country, they have a major series called Contact Tri Series, which is a well-know event around the oceania. The series have 7 races.(1 TT race in OD, two sprint: one of them is national champs,one super sprint live show,three normal OD: one of them is national champs/oceania champs/oceania cup)The series became international event nowadays, most of the top triathlete from the world all came over to do it, for example from British, South Africa, Australia, USA, France, Japan and German.The most important to motivate the people to do it because the races will be on the NZ Tri TV, which will on the news on the following Sunday at 12pm for 1.5hrs. The NZers can start to know how strong the kiwi in this event. This is the main reason why I came to NZ by myself and train with the Kiwi , race with them to step up.


I do train with the NZ team most of the time in the NZ summer. Most of them are training in different places, but the major bases where are in Christchurch and Auckland. The top guys mostly train around these two places. They have training camp every summer in Christchurch for 3-4weeks then drove down to Qweenstown's Snow Farm for high attitude training for another 4weeks to ready the race season.

At the beginning of the year could you imagine you would have such a good year?
Honestly, I didn't except anything for this year since after the All China Games from last year. Even I came 2nd of HK in that Game, but I still can't believe that what I've gain from last year's training. So I just keep training harder and being smarter. At the same time I get a new coach,who is from NZ currently holding rank 3 in the country and he is ready to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012. His name is Clark Ellice.
He motivated me to make myself set a gold, which is achievable. So we aim to the first 2 major races in NZ - National Sprint and Live super sprint for building up my body see if I could handle triathlon again. And I've done it. 4th of NZ U23. After that, we aim to top 15th in Singapore ITU, but I could not step up because I could not get used to the humid weather since I got back from NZ about 2weeks. I felt so disappointed , for sure. We set the goal again, which is Asian Champs top 10. I just keep training easy and do what my body and my coach told me. So lucky that I won it, and won by 1min. I did it! But, its just the start of the year, meant nothing at all. I can't this would a good year, I can just say this is a good start.


Every time you step outside to go training, what is going through your mind?
Training is hard, I told myself I need it and it does worth. I knew that I am fat, every time when I looking at my coach and those pro triathletes compare to myself, I am just nothing and embarrassing. Shame on me. This is my motivation to be fit, to step outside for a real tough training.

My coach, Clark Ellice and I, he is the 2012 Olympian, Top 3 in NZ, ranked 25th in the world.
I swim with both of them every morning(NZer Dlyan McNice, currently top3 who came out of the swim in the world cups and world champ series, French guy Laurent Vidal, Top 6 of the world, summer training base in NZ)
My training partners since 2009 Jos HJ is 2009 AUS Youth Olympic Top3, Oceania U23 top3, No.1 Junior in NZ. And Dean Harrison is NZ U23 top5)

What are your plans for 2010 and 2011? Any major goals that you would like to achieve?
During these year, my plan seems so confused. I am having Uni, but I have to qualify for the Asian Games and go to Europe for few months high attitude training with the NZ mates to ready for the world champs. Hopefully I can qualify and I can turn up to full time for a year see if I have a small chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympic games. Probably I wont be able to study for a while. Those major games are my major goals.

What is your sponsorship situation and what is your favorite tri gear from the sponsor?
Mainly, is about money, as every know triathlon this sport needs money to continue. At the moment HKSI (HONG KONG SPORTS INSTITUTE is my major sponsor because they funded me for a few of years of already. Then my parents. Luckily I sponsored by Champion System and High5 for a few of years,too. They gave me a lot of products . For example, bike, cycling kit, racing kit, sports drinks and food. For sure, I am looking forward to have money sponsorships, at the moment I am dealing with one of the major insurance company, hopefully they can start to sponsor me in the mid of the year.
I am pretty much like the bike from the sponsor because this the main stuff of this sport and the most expensive thing of this sport.

Do you have a race that is your favorite and you'd like to do it for second time? Why?
The Contact Tri Series is my most favorite event I like to do anytime. Competitive, entertainment, exciting and self-promoting all in one.

What do you like to do outside the sports of triathlon?
I would to eat heaps and sleep heaps out of triathlon.No, it was joking. I am a party boy, actually. I am pretty much like clubbing, drinking and stuffs. Sometimes, I will drawing and go shopping, mostly thru the internet.

What is your favorite food for pre-race and post race?
I'd like to eat the "REAL FOOD" (likes bread,eggs,mike,etc.)rather than the sports bar and stuffs before the race, sometimes I will drink coffee to wake myself up.
I prefer that to eat those sports stuffs during the race.
After the race I don't really eat much, but at night I will eat a lot. I like pizza so much!(JUST FOR AFTER RACES)

What are you listening at the moment?
I am listening to the music most of the time. Especially the electronic and dance music. Those are my favorite and all in English. I didn't listen to the chinese for like 3years already.

Do you have any quotes?
He who dare, wins. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.