In the recently held IRONMAN challenge in Malaysia, four Assamese individuals finished the challenge, thereby earning the coveted title. Dr. Bibhash Bhagawati, Prakash Basumatary, Amitabh Dutta and Dr. Shantanu Dutta brought laurels to the state after achieving this unique feat, regarded as one of the toughest tests of physical fitness, endurance and agility.
Speaking about their success, the four athletes stressed upon the need to maintain the daily fitness regime, regular training and exercise being the key to achieve such rigorous challenges. All the four Assamese athletes, who were above the age of 40, maintained that youngsters could achieve this feat if their group of four had achieved at 40-plus age.
The IronMan Malaysia challenge is an annual event held in Langkawi, Malaysia. Competitors are required to finish the following challenges — 2 km swimming, 90 km cycling and 21 km running under eight and half hours. This year 1824 competitors finished the challenge out of which 974 were first timers and 5 broke Age Group course records.
It began as a challenge for a group of American Navy Seals and was originally a combination of the Waikiki Rough Water swim, the Around Oahu Bike Race and the Honolulu Marathon. Each year there are a series of 28 events all over the world that qualify athletes for the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kona, Hawaii.
By Manas P Kashyap