Annamaria Baku of Oradea became the hero…

Annamaria Bako has not played sports since childhood, she has no coach to guide her to success nor supporters to support her. However, the young woman has a proven track record in one of the toughest sports: triathlon.

Recently, the woman from Oradea became the national champion in the Ironman triathlon, where simply completing the tests is a remarkable feat. Anna was the fastest athlete who swam about 4 km, did another 180 km and ran a marathon. After 12 intense hours, he got the medal he had been dreaming of…

The first in the country

On the second day of July, when the temperature in the shade exceeded 30 degrees Celsius, 6 women and 59 men from the country and abroad competed in one of the tough sports competitions: the AROBS X-Man National Triathlon Championship Romania, in the Ironman distance, organized year after year. In Behor by XTerra Club. This means that each of them swam 3800 meters in Lake Foggio, then cycled 180 kilometers in a loop, between the villages of Hosso de Cree and Pulaia, then ran towards Oradea, and in a circle, through the center of the municipality with a total of 42.2 km.

Annamaria Bako was among the six contenders and did not allow herself any short break between the three events. The 32-year-old from Oradea wanted to take the podium, and after 12 hours 32 minutes 33 seconds, she crossed the finish line. She was the second woman to complete the infernal race, after Hungarian Eva Jabnar, who beat her by four minutes.

But Anna was the fastest athlete in Romania, so she won the national title. “I really wanted to become a national champion. I wanted to be the first in the competition, but she is (a sports number from Hungary) She was better in the end, she hit me,” says the Oradea woman. Maybe if it wasn’t a hot day he could get past it…


Anna’s success is considered even more remarkable because she did not play sports since childhood, on the contrary, it began almost when she entered adult life. “At seventeen I learned to swim and joined a polo team. Three years later, I participated for the first time in the Ironman triathlon, in teams, only in a swimming event,” says the athlete.

He felt that she had the stamina and that she was fit for a sport that only the “Iron Men” would dare. And her intuition was good: she won several titles as a runner-up in the Iron Man and a Champion in the Cross Triathlon (a competition with the same three events, but with shorter distances and held on the mountain), and took first place at the European Cross. Duathlon (with swimming and cycling events) and world runner-up at the Cross Triathlon and Duathlon in 2021.

Very modest for her track record, Anna lists titles won as if anyone could have achieved them. In fact, each medal means long mountain bike rides, many hours in the pool and several courses to run on cold days or, conversely, on hot days. In short, a disciplined life devoted to sports. “For me, it’s a way of life,” she says.

its strength

Anna’s achievements are commendable because she has always trained alone, has no sports education and has never had any sponsors. “I started college, but not in sports, but in construction, and I didn’t finish it, because I had to get a job and it was hard to keep up with classes. My parents couldn’t afford to stay,” says the young woman.

Without moaning, but at the same time with dignity, he says that he bought all the necessary equipment from the savings he made, often with sacrifices. “They are all very expensive, the bike can cost several thousand euros. I bought a used off-road one,” Anna says.

Specifically, because her stick is not suitable for asphalt competitions, in the Iron Man triathlon, she sought help from a friend who loaned her the bike that became her champion.

For the other two tests, all he needs is a strong body and a strong mind. “In endurance competitions, the psyche makes the difference. Physically, many athletes resist, they are trained, and the important thing is to maintain psyche,” Anna says.

The man of steel.

To instill a passion for triathlon in others, Anna two years ago founded Club 3Sport with her boyfriend, Bagonya Oszkár, and her sister, Anita Bakó, who are also lovers of outdoor activities. Thus, the certified triathlon coach turned her passion into a job. “Children love it to practice, precisely, unlike other sports, here they have three tests, so that they do not get bored. Triathlon is a sport that helps them develop coordination, speed and strength skills, “explains the coach.

They are also very happy that some parents have been drawn to the sport, so the club now has nearly 50 members of all ages. Anna is so proud of everyone. “We recently went to a competition in Hungary, which is for families, and all the athletes came back with prizes.”

Due to the development of the club, it has also managed to attract many sponsors who support athletes with nutritional supplements, equipment or travel, and Anna, who appreciates any helping hand, does not miss the opportunity to mention them: Sponsor, Rudy Project, Novokinetic, Akasha Kinetik, Cottontex and Velocitas.

with special forces

In addition to training future athletes, Anna continues to participate in triathlon competitions, especially if they are on the mountain. She loves nature walks, she feels free and stress-free when she sleeps in a tent under the open sky, and she will not replace the morning with jogging or pedaling in the hills for anything.

Plus, every contest she wins helps her advance. “The money from the prizes is invested in equipment or participation in other competitions. For example, I have to go to the European Cross Triathlon in the Czech Republic on August 13, but I still do not have all the money for travel and accommodation,” says the player, who used to win based on strength alone…

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