📅04 October 2017
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By Patrick Lujan

This has been all too familiar with Manami Iijima winning a local 5k race, like this one recently at the eCoast 5K. (photo credit: Coast 360)

2017 has been a golden year so far for super athlete Manami Iijima.

Just last week, she added the icing on the cake as she officially became a professional triathlete – the only pro recognized with the Guam Triathlon Federation.

GSPN got a chance to catch up with the full-time UOG student on her thoughts of being a pro athlete now.

GSPN: When did you first have an idea that you wanted to turn pro?

Manami: When I did my first 70.3 back in March. I did better than expected and my coach mentioned that I may consider going pro. I really didn’t think I would be able to but here I am! I am excited and grateful.

GSPN: What are the steps to becoming a pro?

Manami: First you have to train hard and commit to obtain results. Then there are certain qualifications you have to meet to get your professional license or recommendation of professional status from your federation.

GSPN: Where were you, when and how did you get the good news?

Manami: I was at home, studying and when I checked my email, I had received the notice!

GSPN: How will this affect your athletic and academic schedule now?

Manami: It will affect it positively! I am more than committed to my training as well as keeping my grades high. I believe that if you REALLY want to achieve something, you will work for it. Sports and studies don’t come as easy for me as people think and I know I need to put in the time to achieve the results. A typical day will start at 5 a.m. and I am up either training or studying.

Manami’s Facebook post on Sept 28th.

GSPN: Will you be signing autographs? 🙂

Manami: HAHA! I am honestly just a normal person but I hope to inspire others to believe in themselves, work hard, and obtain their goals.

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