Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Ariff Januri

Cheryl Tay
·3-min read
Ariff Januri is a training instructor.
Ariff Januri is a training instructor. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook.

Name: Ariff Januri (@ariffjanuri)

Age: 26

Height: 1.71m

Weight: 75kg

Occupation: Training Instructor

Status: Single

Diet: I don't have a strict diet. Not eating fast food, junk food or drinking sweet drinks became a habit during my competitive days as an athlete. Other than that, I eat whatever mum cooks.

Training: Tuesdays and Thursdays are my main gym days. The rest of the days, I'll go with the flow and see what I feel like doing.

Ariff Januri was selected into the national track and field team in 2015.
Ariff Januri was selected into the national track and field team in 2015. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: How did you get started in sprinting?

A: I played a couple of other sports like soccer, basketball, handball recreationally before focusing on sprints. It started in Secondary 4 when I signed up for the school’s annual Sports Day and broke the school’s 100m and 400m records.

To be fair, my school didn’t have a Track and Field CCA (co-curricular activity), so the times weren't fast at all, but that made me decide to take up athletics in polytechnic as my CCA.

When did you decide you wanted to take things to the next level?

In 2015, I started running fast times during my last year of polytechnic and I had the opportunity to be part of the national team. That was the SEA Games year – although I didn't make the cut, I'm thankful to be able to watch it live and that motivated me to aim for something bigger than just representing school and winning at local meets.

Ariff won his first sprint medal at the 2015 IVP Games, in the 100m event.
Ariff won his first sprint medal at the 2015 IVP Games, in the 100m event. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What were some of your highlights?

At the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Games 2015, I won my first individual medal for 100m and it was my first sub-11 seconds. Breaking 11 seconds is a big deal for most of the sprinters here in Singapore.

I also represented Singapore at both the SEA Games and Asian Championships in 2017 and 2019. It was my dream to represent my nation and I felt a lot of pride and responsibility.

Any lows?

Injuries. I pulled my hamstring at the 2017 SEA Games while running the bend in the 4x100m relay. It's a shitty feeling.

Personal best times?

100m – 10.73 seconds;

200m – 21.96 seconds;

400m – 49.66 seconds.

The best moments are when you know you are going to run the best race of your life – you will feel it. All and all, I can say that I’m satisfied with my personal best times before I quit the sport.

Ariff decided to stop competitive running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ariff decided to stop competitive running during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When did you quit the sport?

I felt like it’s about time I focused on other things in life, and it’s time for me to move on from track. Thus I decided to stop competitive running sometime in the middle of last year, amid the pandemic. I still keep fit by lifting weights and running once in a while though.

Are you satisfied with your body?

Yeah, I'm thankful to be able to maintain it.

Have you ever received any comments about your body?

Yes and I just want to say thank you all for the kind comments, cheers!

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Ariff Januri.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Ariff Januri. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)