Charlie And His Triathlon Victory!

Charlie And His Triathlon Victory!

Start small. Dream big.

So here is a blast from the past! Charlie Quin, a past Bintan Triathlon youth champion and MetaSprint Series Aquathlon champion, was in the news for winning the prestigious Noosa Triathlon in 2022. He beat a deep field of professional athletes including Jake Birtwistle and Jack Moody, and shared the media headlines with the women’s champion Ashleigh Gentle (currently unbeaten on the PTO circuit). A reason for us to catch up with Charlie.  


Congratulations with your victory at the Noosa Triathlon. Do you consider this your biggest victory to date?

Yes, I would definitely consider Noosa Triathlon my biggest victory to date. It was a breakthrough performance for me and showed a big improvement in my racing ability. To win and break the course record is an achievement I am very proud of. 


Your triathlon talent was apparent when you won the MetaSprint Series Aquathlon at age 16. When and what made you decide to pursue a career in triathlon?

I always wanted to have a career in sport. As a kid I was obsessed with sport and still am. When I started triathlon at around 15 years old, I fell in love with the sport and wanted to be as good as I could and compete at the highest level. 


Your Noosa win comes 11 years after your MetaSprint Series Aquathlon win. What happened in between?

Unfortunately, my junior and U23 years were a struggle as I wasn’t quite fast enough to make the World Championship and World Series races. I also struggled with growing pains and injuries that really set me back for a couple of years. However, I have always kept pursuing the goal of being a pro triathlete. Since stepping to the long course racing last year, and the emergence of the new PTO format*, I think there is a great opportunity to have a career in long course triathlon. 

*2km swim, 80km bike, 18km run and big prize purses:


So, what does it take to make it as a professional triathlete? 

Being a professional triathlete at the top level is a 24-hours-a-day job. Most of the top triathletes I have met are completely obsessed with the sport. At the moment, I am training 25-30 hours a week. It has taken me years of training and patience to be able to train at this level.


What have been your biggest learnings? 

Looking back, I would probably train a bit smarter. Especially when you are trying to make it in the sport there is the tendency to overdo it. This leads to poor results, injury and sickness. I now adopt an 80% rule for most of my training, meaning I don’t go above 80% of perceived effort in training and focus on getting through the training as efficiently as possible. I have found that this small change has made a huge difference in my training and racing. 


How has Singapore, the MetaSprint Series and Bintan Triathlon shaped you as an athlete?

Growing up in Singapore and training with MetaSport (TriBob at the time) is where I fell in love with the sport and developed my early skills. Training with the older group of triathletes, doing long rides and runs, and going on training camps to Perth and Bali are some really fond memories I have. I was able to learn a lot from the coaches and other athletes who all recognised my talent and helped to develop me as an athlete.

Having quality races like the MetaSprint Series and Bintan Triathlon (ed. Now Batam Triathon!) was also a great way for me to develop as an athlete. When I was 16, my biggest goal was to be able to win the MetaSprint Series overall and my age group at the Bintan Triathlon. I remember winning my first MetaSprint event at the Aquathon and being so excited. Also racing against my friends and MetaSport club members was always a lot of fun. 


What is next for you? What are your short- and long-term goals?

My short-term goals are to get a good result at the Geelong 70.3, make it to The Championship Challenge and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs, and to improve my PTO ranking so I can race the PTO events. 

My long-term goals are to be a IRONMAN 70.3 and IRONMAN World Champion.


Singapore is hosting the PTO Asian Open in August. Has the emergence of PTO changed anything for you? Can we expect to see you race in Singapore?

The PTO races are a major goal and motivator for me. It gives pro triathletes like me an opportunity to compete at great events and make a good living. I hope to race the PTO Asian Cup in Singapore, but it is unlikely for this year as my PTO ranking is not high enough yet. 


Any final words of advice to a young aspiring athlete?

Be patient and work hard. Even if you are not the best at a young age, you can get to the top level if you are passionate, hard-working, and never stop improving. 


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