• Scott DeFilippis

The Rise of Manuel Kung


I first met Manu back in 2010 while training in Krabi, Thailand. Manu was a part of the Swiss Junior Development Program. We were both being trained by legendary Coach Brett Sutton, under the Team TBB Umbrella. Brett was slowly trying to develop Manu's overall strength while seeing how quick he could get his run going, but coming from a swim background Manu's body was more suited for the longer distances. We spent 2 summers together in Leysin, Switzerland, where I observed Manu struggle at times to wrap his head around the longer distances but also show some signs of great potential.

Between 2012-2016 Manu continued to develop as an athlete working with a few coaches. It was a bit of a roller coaster for Manu having stand out performances in Dubai and Luxembourg but some time during 2016 he lost his confidence and was in a rut. That September Manu, myself and a few of the other Swiss Juniors that were in Thailand and Leysin together had a bit of an unexpected reunion at Cozumel 70.3. After a rough day in the heat and humidity for the Swiss Gang, we all went on a boat trip to "El Cielo" a secret beach off the coast of the Island. I could tell how frustrated Manu was in his current state of development and I was just as frustrated for him having seen him break through but then fall backwards. His long time girlfriend, "Celinie Baby", as I call her, suggested I train him. If I recall her words were something along the lines of, "You should let Scottie train you, he's always believed in you!".

We left our little boat trip and I left it in Manu's hands.."Happy to help if you like". That was the beginning of our journey together and on my long trip back to San Diego I came up with a plan to get Manu back to his winning ways with a long term goal of making him a champion at the Iron Distance. For the past 20 or so months Manu has dedicated his life to making a living as a Professional Athlete. He has worked his tail off, put his trust in the process, and never wavered from chasing down his dream.

Over the past 2 weeks Manu has proved to himself that he now has the skills to make it as a real Pro in the toughest sport in the world! Manu, thank you for trusting me with your career! Its a real pleasure to train you and I hope we have many years together! On behalf of everyone in the KIS Family we want to say congratulations to you on your victory! Take the time to embrace it and drink from the cup as you never know how many cracks at victory you will get!


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