Jayden Tian and Tahira Najmunisaa Clinched Top Spots At The Most Challenging BEAST Categories

(From left) Jo Win, William, Athira, Azlan & Jayden power up with the U.S. Potatoes

Participating in a competitive sporting event such as the Spartan Malaysia Trifecta Weekend 2023 requires more than skills, mindset or strategy. More importantly, the right nutrition intake could make all the difference in helping contestants achieve success in their performances.

Research indicates that U.S. potatoes - packed with energy, fiber, potassium and Vitamin C - are a viable functional food that could help fuel and enhance sport performances and active lifestyles.

President of MUDA Syed Saddiq ran in the youth-centric Spartan Race

Potatoes USA recently sponsored the Spartan Race Kuala Lumpur Trifecta Weekend on 28 & 29 October held at Gamuda Cove. This was the first Spartan Race in Peninsular Malaysia since 2019 and was expected to become the most exciting Spartan Trifecta campaign in Southeast Asia this year. In 2023 alone, Spartan is hosting over 160 races across 55 countries worldwide, involving over 1 million participants globally.

At the Spartan event, Potatoes USA served U.S. potato products to over 6,000 obstacle racers at their booth. All were treated to U.S. mashed potatoes which helped racers in replenishing their energy levels and nutrients needed after the event. Educational materials on potato power nutrition to improve sports performance were distributed while sports dietitian Tania Lee headlined a sharing session on potato benefits for sportspeople.

Potatoes USA enlisted a group of Spartan Racers to join the potato nutrition education campaign, who includes Jayden Tian, Jayakumar Tharmalingam, Ariff Suffian and Azlan Matle. Jayden Tian scored 1st placing in both the Spartan Beast-AG and Super-AG categories. National Duathlon athlete, Tahira Najmunisaa who clinched Malaysia’s first duathlon medal at the 31st SEA Games 2022 in Vietnam raced in Spartan KL Trifecta Weekend took home the 2nd placing at the Spartan Beast Female Elite category. Together with SEA Games 2023 medalists, William Yoong and Wan Athira, all these sports elites incorporated U.S. potatoes in their meals to aid their carbo loading for their participation in the Spartan Race.



William Yoong, a 29-year-old fitness trainer who loves competitive sports is a familiar face at obstacle races in town. William made history at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia this May, securing Malaysia's first medals for the 2023 SEA Games – a bronze in the men's individual 100m and a silver in the men's team relay for obstacle course racing (OCR).

"Preparing for a tough Spartan Race means smart carb-loading. U.S. potatoes are the perfect complex carb source to load up athletes’ muscle glycogen storages. They keep me fueled, satisfied, and are so versatile in the kitchen” he explained.



Another Potatoes USA representative sportswoman, Wan Athira, 26 years old, also participated in the 32nd SEA Games and won a bronze medal in the women’s obstacle race. She shared “U.S. potatoes are cost-effective and rich in nutrients needed for highly competitive races. They are gluten-free and a great source of carbohydrates to fuel me and reduce hunger pangs during long or intense races. I consume U.S. potatoes for my training, recovery process and of course, for race day!”. Furthermore, they are tasty, easy to cook and versatile to prepare them in many different ways,” enthused Athira.

Many youths are appreciating healthier lifestyles, as depicted through their interests in physical sports as well as making wiser decisions on food choices. This is in line with Potatoes USA’s core belief and role in enabling healthy eating, promoting active lifestyle and enhancing sport performance amongst the younger generation, as seen with Potatoes USA’s collaboration with Spartan Malaysia.

Sports dietitian Tania (3rd from left) sharing potato benefits with racers

In Malaysia, trends are pointing to increasing interests in sports, of every kind. Media reports indicated that the involvement of the Malaysians in sports activities was lacklustre, hence the Malaysian Youth and Sports Ministry had announced its plans for Malaysia to become a "Sporting Nation" by 2025, introducing incentives to drive sporting initiatives to promote health and sporting career advancements.

The age of sports enthusiasts is also getting younger. A study conducted by the Universiti Tunku Adbul Rahman’s on Young Adults’ Passion for Sport revealed that young Malaysian adults ages 18 to 30 years old have developed passion for a sporty lifestyle, largely due to family and peer influences.

Numerous studies had been conducted over the past 40 - 50 years suggested that carbohydrates are a primary macronutrient for sustaining and improving athletic performance. According to Nutrition Today, a US journal, it is suggested that a balanced diet high in natural, quality carbohydrate rich foods like nutrient-dense potatoes may be optimal to improving physical performance among elite endurance athletes.