Afiq Abdul-Malek
Afiq Abdul-Malek
Question Answer
Tell us about your sporting background and how you first got into triathlons I played a lot of field and indoor soccer as a kid, and played at quite a decent level. Went interstate a few times for representative squads but never got the call up from Singapore or Australia (I only became an Australian citizen at age 21). I represented my school in athletics, focusing on 100m and long jump. I was also a second spell medium pace bowler for school, as apparently my lack of height made for some very low skidding balls off the pitch and I was used to stem opposition’s runs. In 2011 during a social game of soccer I partially ruptured my ACL and MCL. The orthopod didn’t want to operate and suggested I take up swimming, riding, and running, as they didn’t require any lateral movement. So I put the lot together. In 2012 I searched around for some tri clubs in my local area but I didn’t feel their vibe. Then one night after some Facebook stalking of Nuna Tri Club I decided to come for a run from the pool. What stood out to me was the way everyone doubled back and collected the slowest runner. I was sold. I signed up for the GIT and I liked it so much I did it again the next year!
Your favourite TRI discipline? It has to be cycling. The kits, the socks, the style, the varied places it takes you. And the best part is that I feel the bike keeps you honest. You could have the most expensive bike in the world but if you’re not fit, you’ll still get passed by a bike with a basket and streamers that cost a fraction of yours.
Goal race for the 2017/18 season? I’m not sure if people know this but I kinda like Noosa. So that’s my goal race every year. I’m hoping for a big year and to smash my PB. So if you’re reading this, keep me accountable.
Future goals? Who knows, really. I have unfinished business with the half iron distance. But I don’t want to tackle that distance without having a solid base. It’s just madness otherwise. I just have to remind myself that the journey is my own and not get caught up with what other people are doing. It’s easy to see why everyone wants to go longer and further, but I want to go faster.
Favourite holiday destination and why? I grew up in Singapore and still have a lot of family and friends there so I go back there at least once a year. I usually start my trip with the usual touristy stuff but then I chill out and do as the locals do. If you ever want any tips, let me know!
Super power for a day I just want to be able to fly. I tried it once off St Kilda pier one random night and broke my foot.
What else keeps me busy outside of tri? At the moment, guitar. I’m trying to learn it because it’s just a damn sexy instrument. It’s also like bikes, where the correct number of guitars to own is n+1, and cost has nothing to do with how well you can play it. I’m taking lessons once a week with an inspirational teacher. I play the piano, and the only thing that transfers is musical theory.
What do you love about being a member of NunaTriClub? It’s the vibe. It’s the characters. It’s the constant encouragement and support. It’s the humility of everyone. And it’s the family atmosphere the club has. As I mentioned above, I played team sports growing up, but never have I experienced a club that is more supportive and encouraging than Nuna Tri Club! GO NUNA!

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