ALTHOUGH national duathlete Heidilee Mohammad hails from the “Land Below The Wind”, the 24 years old Sabahan is every inch a folk hero among the Subang Jaya sports community especially with the Pacesetters Athletic Club Malaysia (PACM) members there.
Heidilee, who is also fondly known as Dino, is an accomplished national triathlete and duathlete.
Following his debut in the men's triathlon at the Asian Games in Doha last year, Dino is intent on securing a berth in the men's duathlon at the SEA Games to be held in Korat, Thailand, at the end of the year.
“Although I finished at the back of the pack, I was not disappointed with my performance as it was the first time I was able to gauge my ability against the best in Asia. That was my biggest international exposure thus far,” said Dino, who finished 22nd at the Asiad.
For the upcoming SEA Games, Dino believes that he has a better chance in the duathlon comprising 10km run, 40km cycle and 5km run.
“I am stronger in cycling and running. Swimming is not my forte. I want to prove my worth to the selectors because I fancy my prospects for the duathlon,” he added.
Dino predicts Filipino Ryan Mandoza and national number one Shahrom Abdullah as his biggest threats for the top spot on the podium.
“After the accident, I was very down mentally. I was in the limbo for three months. But, I am fortunate because my family and sports people in the community encouraged me to claw back. Their staunch support kept me going. I worked out in the True Fitness gym in Subang Jaya as part of my rehabilitation and only started cycling again in June. I am feeling fitter and I would like to think that I am in better form compared to last year. I am ready for action,” said Dino.
Currently, his training programme is under the supervision of sports science experts at the National Sports Institute (NSI).
NSI sports nutrition and food centre consultant Dr Zsuzsanna Fajcsak and NSI physiologist Patrick Potvin are assisting him to reach his peak and earn a slot to represent the country at the Games.
“When I was undergoing the first phase of rehabilitation programme, my weight shot up to 70kg. Now, my weight has been reduced to 63kg. I also encountered shin splints and they told me to reduce my running mileage. So, I cycled more instead to complement my training,” said Dino.
Recently, he won the Universiti Malaya duathlon competition in the men's open category and also emerged top at the Perhentian Island Challenge partnering national triathlete Eugene Wong.
“My confidence grew after we captured the Perhentian Island Challenge. I am convinced that I can run now. The hot weather and hilly terrain also tested our mental strength,” he added.
In addition, Dino's sister Mariana Mohammad is also fighting for a place in the women's duathlonfor SEA Games.
And they are aiming to make an impact at the Powerman Duathlon to be held in Lumut on Nov 11.