PH triathlon ready to defend SEA Games titles

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Filipino triathletes were crowned champions in the past two editions of the Southeast Asian Games.

They don’t intend to relinquish the throne, especially now that the Philippines is hosting the 11-nation sportsfest on Nov.30-Dec.11.

Cebuano teenager Andrew Kim Remolino and John Chicano will represent the country in the men’s individual race while Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe are the bets of the local triathlon association in the women’s division.

National triathletes John Chicano, Nikko Huelgas, Julius Constantino and Andrew Kim Remolino during the 2018 PSC Philippine National Games in Tabuelan, Cebu.
National triathletes John Chicano, Nikko Huelgas, Julius Constantino and Andrew Kim Remolino during the 2018 PSC Philippine National Games in Tabuelan, Cebu.

“They had gone through several qualifying events. The best two performers in those series of qualifiers have been chosen to do the individual races,’’ said Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco.

The Philippines bagged the gold and silver medals in both men’s and women’s individual races in the 2015 Singapore and 2017 Kuala Lumpur editions.

Nikko Huelgas, who was sidelined by injuries early this year and missed defending his title, was the back-to-back champion in the men’s while Claire Adorna won the women’s in 2015 and Mangrobang in 2017.

Remolino, a 19-year-old prized find from Talisay City, Cebu, topped all the qualifying races for Filipino elite competitors in the swim-bike-run Olympic event.

“May pressure talaga dahil kailangan depensahan natin ang gintong medalya sa SEA Games. Ibibigay ko lahat ng aking makakaya,’’ said Remolino, the Young Hero awardee for triathlon in the recent Siklab Youth Sports Awards 2019.

Remolino seized the spot in the men’s individual after crossing the finish ahead of all Filipino elite racers in both the 2019 Gyeongju ASTC Asian Triathlon Championships in Korea two months ago and the Subic Bay International Triathlon last April.

Huelgas, however, will still race in the mixed team relay with Fer Casares, Chicano, Adorna, Kilgroe and Mangrobang.

In duathlon, Doy Comendador and Jarwyn Banatao will compete in the men’s division while Monica Torres and Jelsie Sabado aim for a 1-2 finish in the women’s individual race.

Comendador and Torres will join forces with Pawee Fornea, Joey Delos Reyes, Ephraim Inigo and Sabado in the mixed team relay.

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