Sur­viv­ing the first hur­dle

> The three Malaysian teams in The Amaz­ing Race Asia 5 are all hyped up to win with one team hav­ing taken leg one of the race

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

with. Peo­ple only get to see the chal­lenges, but not the stress.”

The duo ar­rived at their Road­block chal­lenge soon af­ter the Sin­ga­porean team of J.K. (Justin Ko) and Mike (Michael Tan), lead­ing J.K. to ut­ter that the Sin­ga­pore­ans had to beat the Malaysians.

“[We even­tu­ally] over­took the Sin­ga­pore­ans [be­cause] we had a sys­tem,” said Alpheus . “[They] had one strong guy (Mike) do­ing all the lift­ing. In our case, we worked as a team.”

Bran­don added: “The best thing about us is that we are roughly the same size, and roughly the same strength.”

Ul­ti­mately, Bran­don and Al­phaeus were the first team to hit the mat at the pit stop, and won for them­selves a pair of air tick­ets to Bali, courtesy of Garuda In­done­sia. were so keen to take part in TARA, hav­ing been fans of the US and Asian edi­tions of the se­ries for years, that they started train­ing in the gym six times a week.

Alex said: “We would wake up early to go for a run. We just pre­pared for the worst-case sce­nario in any phys­i­cal chal­lenge.”

Will added: “Know­ing the race, we knew there was a lot of run­ning and a lot of ob­sta­cles.”

Black tank tops, pants and shoes topped their shop­ping list in prepa­ra­tion for the race.

“We branded our­selves as the ‘mus­cle broth­ers’ and we like show­ing off,” said Alex.

They did find a ri­val in the mus­cle depart­ment in the form of mar­ried cou­ple Eric and Rona Tai from the Philip­pines.

“They were body sham­ing us a lot,” laughs Alex, who added that they are all now good friends.

Will said they had aimed to fin­ish in the top three in the first leg of the race.

But their de­ci­sion to take Fix (dec­o­rat­ing a bike) dur­ing the Road­block part of the race in­stead of Freight (mov­ing sand) landed them in fifth place.

“We knew we wouldn’t be in last place, be­cause when we looked around, there were other teams still [rac­ing],” said Will.

As for per­son­al­ity clashes, Will said: “Alex will make im­pul­sive de­ci­sions, while I will take my time. That is how it has been since we were kids.”

Alex added that their dif­fer­ences some­how helped to bal­ance things out dur­ing the race.

These two beauty queens and best friends are fac­ing off against an­other pair of beauty queens from the Philip­pines, Parul Shah and Mag­gie Wil­son-Con­sunji.

When asked if there was an urge to take down their ‘royal ri­vals’ first, Yvonne laughed and ad­mit­ted: “That was the first nat­u­ral re­ac­tion.”

Chloe added: “We are in it to win it! In the be­gin­ning, [ev­ery­one was] siz­ing [each other] up. Just be­cause we are beauty queens, no one was tak­ing us se­ri­ously. So we were not wary about oth­ers, which was also good.”

Both trained to keep fit phys­i­cally. “Our strat­egy was to re­main calm and cool, and read the clues care­fully,” said Yvonne.

How­ever, they both ad­mit­ted that stay­ing cool and calm was not al­ways easy. The girls were al­most elim­i­nated in the first leg, com­ing in ninth be­fore the last team, sib­lings Rei and Keiji Ume­hara of Sin­ga­pore.

As for form­ing al­liances with other teams, Chole said: “Al­liances can only bring you so far, but it in the end, it is ev­ery per­son for him/ her­self.”

ZULFADHLI ZAKI/ THE SUN

Run­ning to win ... (from left) the Malaysian pairs of Al­phaeus and Bran­don, Yeevon and Chloe, and Will and Alex.

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