Triathlete Winona sacrifices for her goal

Triathlete Winona sacrifices for her goal

SINGAPORE - Sitting down for a chat with Winona Howe can be an awkward experience when she is on her feet throughout the conversation, even if not by choice.

A recent accident while training on her bicycle left the triathlete with some bad abrasions on her upper thighs. Even sleeping has to be done face down.

Still, Winona waves it off. It is a small sacrifice, one of many she has had to make since becoming a national triathlete.

The 18-year-old has put her studies on hold since completing her O levels at the end of 2011 to focus on training full time.

She said: "It wasn't that hard a decision to make. The plan was to focus more on sports so that I can be more professional."

For someone who did her first triathlon only about three years ago, Winona - whose personal best over the sprint triathlon distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) is 1 hour and 9 minutes - harbours big dreams of becoming an Olympian.

She has twice represented Singapore at the Asian Triathlon Championships, finishing 18th at the 2011 edition in Taiwan and 15th in Japan last year.

She also flew the Republic's flag at the Asian Cycling Championships this year, finishing 11th - and the third South-east Asian - in the junior girls' time trial.

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