Japanese rule SUBIT

Ren Sato and Yuka Sato shone as champions with ease, catapulting Japan to regain her thrones in the 2022 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon–29th edition of the country’s longest-running triathlon event with international cast–at Subic Bay Freeport Zone Sunday.

Asia’s No. 3 and 56th in the world rankings Ren Sato and inaugural Youth Olympic Games triathlon gold medalist and Rio Olympics 2016 15th placer Yuka Sato (10th– Continental Ranking; 90th– World Ranking) clocked one hour 43 minutes and 11 seconds and 1:58:49 in living up to their billings as top seeds in the elite men and elite women divisions, respectively.

Japan’s Ren Sato the Elite Men’s champion. (photo credit: Henry Vargas)
The Elite Women’s champion Yuka Sato of Japan at the finish line. (photo credit: Henry Vargas)

The other medalists in both divisions of the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40km bike and 10km grind organized by Triathlon Association of the Philippines in cooperation with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee pulled the rug from under the favorites.  

Ryoya Tamazaki, ranked 14th in Asia and 201th in the world, made it 1-2 Japanese finish in the elite men, checking in 26 seconds adrift of Sato at 1:43:37; it was Tamazaki’s first podium finish in 13 starts. Another 11 seconds behind at 1:43:48 was Australia’s Oscar Dart (27th-CR; 189th– WR).   

On the women’s side of the race sanctioned by World Triathlon and Asian Triathlon Confederation with Standard Insurance, Asian Center for Insulation Phil (ACIP), Pocari Sweat, Aurora Suites & Pavilion and FINIS as sponsors, Hong Kong’s Yan Yin Hilda Choi grabbed the silver in 2:00:37 and Slovakia’s Margarita Bicanova (2:01:02) the bronze.

The last time the Japan dominated SUBIT was in 2013 when it was staged in conjunction with the Asian Triathlon Championships (second time TRAP hosted it). Yuka Sato then finished runner-up to Mariko Adachi who had retired and Yoichi Hosada, who topped the 2021 JPN Triathlon National Championships was the men’s gold medalist.

            Top 10 finishers included: men– 4th Tsz To Wong HKG (1:44:00); 5th Genta Uchida JPN (1:44:16); 6th Jason Tai Long Ng HKG (1:44:33); 7th Makoto Odakura JPN (1:44:56); 8th Kanta Ando JPN (1:45:21); 9th Koki Yamamoto JPN (1:45:46) and 10th James Tan HKG (1:45:52); women– 4th Brown Bailee HKG (2:02:14);  5th Yoshiko Eda JPN (2:02:35); 6th Charlotte Hall HKG (2:02:47); 7th Chia-chia Chang TPE (2:03:03); 8th Chi Wen Chang TPE (2:03:35); 9th Kotomi Anzai JPN (2:04:21) and 10th Cade Wright HKG (2:05:12).

The Top 5 Elite Men with SBMA chairman Rolen Paulino, Sr. during the awarding ceremony. (photo credit: Rey Nillama)
The Top 5 Elite Women during the awarding ceremony. (photo credit: Rey Nillama)

            Emerging as top performers among the locals were 32nd seed John Chicano (1:51:02) and 26th Andrew Remolino (1:52:11) who placed 22nd and 23rd, respectively, and 18th seed Raven Alcoseba who landed in 13th position as the country’s top woman triathlete Kim Mangrobang who recently returned from her training base in Portugal retired in the run phase.

            Chicano’s and Remolino’s times were faster than the clocking of 1:53:26 of the former when he clinched the first gold medal for the PHI in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release issued by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines. Some parts were modified for this website.

For related triathlon stories about the Subic Bay International Triathlon and the SEA Games this year, click here, here, here and here.

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