Philippines is the BEST in Southeast Asia in Triathlon!

December 1, 2019 will be remembered for a very long time here in the Philippines specifically with regards to the followers and enthusiasts of the multisport of triathlon (swim-bike-run) as the Philippines won two gold medals and two silver medals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) triathlon events for men and women held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. As I write this, the triathlon victories continue to generate buzz around the nation through social media and the news media.

Specifically, John Chicano won the gold in the men’s triathlon (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) with a time of 1 hour, 53 minutes and 26 seconds! Literally speaking, he upgraded from the silver medal he won in the 2017 SEA Games (2nd to then gold medalist Nikko Huelgas) to gold medal. The silver was won also for the Philippines with the 2nd place finish of Cebu’s prized triathlete and 1st time SEA Games participant Andrew Kim Remolino who clocked in at 1:55:03. Indonesia’s Muhammad Ahlul Firman won the bronze after coming in at 1:57:10.

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Philippines’ Andrew Kim Remolino and John Chicano won the silver and gold medals of the 2019 SEA Games men’s triathlon event at Subic Bay on the morning of December 1. (source – 2019 SEA Games Facebook page)

Among the ladies, the event of which started around 2 hours after the men’s race stated, Marion Kim Mangrobang proved once again she is Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete as she won her 2nd SEA Games gold medal with a time of 2:02:00. The Santa Rosa, Laguna native now has a grand total of three SEA Games medals. She won a silver in the 2015 SEA Games (Claire Adorna won the gold back then) and her first gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games (Adorna meanwhile got the silver).

Mangrobang’s teammate Kim Kilgroe won the silver medal finishing 2nd with 2:05:02. She said to the reporters that she felt so great and happy with her achievement. Like Remolino, this was her first SEA Games performance.

The women’s triathlon bronze medal went to Indonesia’s Nethavani Octaria who finished the race in 2:16:33.

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Kim Mangrobang of Santa Rosa, Laguna won her 2nd straight SEA Games women’s triathlon gold medal! She previously won a silver medal in the 2015 SEA Games and the gold in the 2017 SEA Games. (screenshot of CNN Philippines video)
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Teammates Kim Kilgroe (silver medal) and Kim Mangrobang (gold) during the awarding ceremony. (screenshot of CNN Philippines video)

Notable details

Chicano’s gold medal performance was very notable given the fact that his time of 1:53:26 is noticeably faster than the 1:59:30 Nikko Huelgas achieved in 2017. In an ABS-CBN report, coach Melvin Faustino said that Chicano previously timed 1:56:00 and they were aiming for 1:55:00. Of course, things turned out even better with today’s race and Faustino claims that the 1:53:26 time Chicano achieved is a Southeast Asian record for men’s triathlon.

For the newcomers reading this, the Standard Distance (AKA Olympic Distance) for triathlon is set at 1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run. This is the same distance of triathlon implemented in the Asian Games and the Olympics.

For her part, Kim Mangrobang stated to the reporters that her achievement was meant to inspire youth to get into sports and also contribute to the growth of triathlon here in the Philippines.

With the single-day haul of two gold medals and two silver medals in the two SEA Games triathlon events, the Philippines got boosted in the medal standing. Medal competition aside, rewards from the national government will follow soon.

According to Section 8 of Republic Act Number 10699 (RA 10699 or “AN ACT EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF INCENTIVES GRANTED TO NATIONAL ATHLETES AND COACHES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9064”), SEA Games gold medalists who won in individual events will be rewarded P300,000 each while the silver medalists will receive P150,000 each.

Gold medal victory in Mixed Relay (December 2, 2019)

The triathlon glory continued for the Philippines on December 2 when the team composed of Chicano, Mangrobang, Claire Adorna (2015 SEA Games gold medalist and silver medalist in 2017) and newcomer Fer Casares won the gold in the Mixed Relay triathlon event of the SEA Games.

Thank the Lord for His blessing of victory!

Let me stress to all of you reading this that these major victories of the Philippines in the SEA Games would not have been possible with God’s blessing.

Before the two triathlon events happened, I made a public call to viewers on my official Facebook page to pray for the SEA Games victories of not only the Philippine triathlon team but also the duathlon team. I also reached out to my church mates to pray as well.

And the Lord answered our prayers! The blessings in the form of twin gold and twin silver medal victories of the two triathlon events plus the gold medal of the mixed relay team triathlon event of the SEA Games prove that the Philippines is the best in triathlon in Southeast Asia and take note that the next SEA Games won’t happen until the year 2021. Apart from being congratulated by many, gold medalists Chicano and Mangrobang, and silver medalists Remolino and Kilgroe will be remembered for many years to come not only among the triathlon enthusiasts of the Philippines but by Filipinos in general and among people all over Southeast Asia!

On her official Facebook page, Kim Mangrobang acknowledged the Lord!

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When it comes to victory, God is the source of it apart from the blessings, opportunities and progress He provides to His creations who are faithful to Him. The Lord rewards the faithful abundantly and there is no denying that!

In closing this, here is a scripture from the Holy Bible.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4: 13 (NKJV)

For continued triathlon and multiport updates, come back here.


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PRESS RELEASE: Hong Kong, China Share in Day’s Glory in Subic Bay

Hong Kong, China Share in Day’s Glory in Subic Bay

Subic Bay, Philippines – April 28, 2019 – Fresh from its domination of the sprint events a day earlier, powerhouse Hong Kong found the men’s and women’s elite field in the 26th edition of the 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup , a tougher nut to crack and had to settle  for a share in the day’s glory with HK winning the men’s side and China ruling the distaff side  at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

HK’s Oscar Coggins , now campaigning in the men’s elite from the junior ranks, took advantage of his familiarity with hot weather racing conditions, took first place in 1:49.20 , repulsing the challenge of the feared Japanese team that  took the  next 5 slots after Coggins with reigning Asian Games champion and top seed Jumpei Furuya settling for a very close second place in 1:49.30 while Takumi Hojo placed 3rd in 1:49.45. Rounding out the top 5 finishers were Shiruba Taniguchi who  negotiated the 1standard distance race in 1:50.11 , and Yuichi Hosoda in 1:50.36.

” I like the hot weather, I have been training n Australia  the past two months , but I really did not ease up until the finish line. I am happy with my time, ” said Coggins  who took the lead  at the 6K mark and steadily pulled away from the  rest.

Another  surprise however  was in the local side where 19 year old Cebuano Andrew Remolino upstaged his older and more experienced national team mates  with his 17th place finish in 1:54.49, his first sub  two hour  race, target ko sana majasali sa top 10 malalakas lahat ng kalaban, sa mga locals, nakauna ako sa swim leg at na maintain ko yung lead, wala ng nakahabol, ” said Remolino who trains under his father, coach Andoy Remolino.

With his finish, the younger Remolino has positioned himself as a contender  for a slot in the forthcoming SEA Games, : hopeful ako na ma select ako sa national team , ” added Remolino after the race supported by the POC, the PSC, SBMA and its Tourism Department, Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP), NTT, ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel and Pocari Sweat.

On the women’s competition, defending champion Mengying Zhong, reasserted herself anew and led practically led from start to finish but pulled away in the final run leg en route to a solo finish in 2:04.17 with the Japanese afain relegated to runner up finishes with Aoi Kuranoto a far second in 2:04.41, followed by Yurie Kato who negotiated the 1.4K swim -40K bike – 10K distance race in 2:05.32. HK’s Yan Yin Hilda Choi took 4th place in 2:05.37 while in 5th was Macau entry Long Hoi with a finishing time of 2:05.57.

Best placed Filipina was national triathlete Kim Kilgroe who finished in 12th place overall with her time of 2:10.10 even as she is practically assured of a slot in the SEA Games together with Kim mangrobang who is training and competing in Europe, and SEA Games gold  medalist Claire Adorna who ended in 15th place in yesterday’s race in Subic. Adorna clocked 2:13.01.

” This was definitely a strong field with several  world ranked participants . For the national team, we will have our final qualifying race in Korea in June where we will bring  our national training pool  for a camp and race in the Asian Cup, then we  will announce the final selection for the SEA Games, a minimum of 3 , maximum of 5 triathletes, ” said Triathlon Association of the Philippines ( TRAP ) president Tom Carrasco Jr. who cited the  performance  of Remolino in the  race.


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2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup Day Two awarding
Awarding of the Male and Female Elite Top 3 winners at the recently concluded 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup inside the freeport led by Men’s champion Oscar Coggins from Hong Kong and back-to-back Women’s champion Mengying Zhong of China.
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2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup Men’s Champion
Men’s Elite champion Oscar Coggins from Hong Kong at the finish line during the 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup held yesterday (Sunday) inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Press release and photo captions composed by Lito Cinco.

 

PRESS RELEASE: All Hong Kong Show in Subic Sprint Triathlon Event

Subic Bay, Philippines – April 27, 2019 – It was a complete domination by the mighty Hong Kong team in the sprint events on the first day of the two-day 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup as HK triathletes placed 8 entries in the top ten of the  men’s  sprint distance featuring 16 to 19 year olds while 7 female entries placed in the top ten, including a sweep of the top three places in both division.

In the super sprint distance though, the Philippines managed to share the glory with a second place finish in the boys’ side  and a third place achievement in the distaff side to share in the day’s glory.

The duo of Jason Hardcastle and Nicholas Tsang Cheung Singh set the tone from the start of the swim leg in the sprint race that  started  at the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel as they left  the other participants literally in their wake and were never pressured en route to an easy 1 – 2 finish with Hardcastle retaining the title he won last year, clocking 56 minutes and 46 seconds for the 750m. swim-20K bike-5K run while Sing , who was left behind in the final run lap, finished in 57.11. Philip Chenaux-Repond completed the 1-2-3 finish by HK in 58.34.

” I was focused  on a podium finish, I knew I was in good form and I was not really pressured, the weather  though was very hot, ” said Hardcastle  after the race sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union ( ITU ) and the Asian Triathlon Confederation ( ASTC ) and backed by SBMA and its Tourism Department, the Philippine Olympic Committee ( POC ) Philippine Sports Commission ( PSC ), Pocari Sweat, Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP), NTT, and the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel.

Best placed local bet was Christian Legacy Academy student Joshua Ramos, 17, who sneaked in at 8th overall with a time of 1:00.57 while the other Filipino  triathlete in the top ten was Juan Baniqued in 10th place, finishing in 1:01.35.

” Sa swim pa lang ang layo na gad nung dalawa, but  in my case, I was not even expecting  this because I knew  how strong the field was this year,I really should work more on my swim in the future, ” said Ramos

The distaff side saw a start to finish victory by HK ‘s Bailee Brown who negotiated the distance in 1:04.03 despite the hot weather that bothered her, ” it was a tough race anyway you look at it but I was confident of winning, my strategy was just to be ahead at all time. I am  certainly happy with the win  and my swimming  showed a big improvement, ” said the pretty 19-year-old student from HK University who also competes regularly in the standard distance and even qualified in the last Asian Games’ triathlon event.

Twin sisters Cade and Tulullah Wright, also from Hong Kong, grabbed the next two slots, finishing in 1:04.45 and 1:05.06 respectively to complete the sweep for HK in the junior female elite division of the race .

National triathlete Karen Manayon managed  to squeeze herself in the top ten  , finishing in 10th place with  a time of 1:11.29, The Talisay, Cebu native admitted she  was surprised and happy  about her performance but not  with her time , ” medyo mabigat katawan ko  pag gising  kanina but  no excuse, sobra talaga lakas  ng mga taga Hong Kong. “

Nick Yip Tak long and Jan Yip sandwiched local bet Matthew Hermosa in the top 3  of the super sprint distance race as Long took first place in 33.51 i while Yip clocked 35.54 with Hermosa matching up well with a runner-up finish in 35.24.

” Malakas yung champion sa swim, nakalayo  agad siya at di ko na nakita pero masaya  na ako  sa finish ko, ” said the 13 year old Hermosa from Talisay, Cebu and mentored by Andoy Remolino.

HK’s Pauline Courret and Roxanne Wright, younger of the Wright twins, took first and second places, clocking 36.49 and 37.04 respectively while La Union native Lady Samantah Corpuz sprang a surprise with a third place finish in 37.42 also in the super sprint distance race.

” Kulang sa training dahil galing ako sa  sa sakit, two weeks  ako  hindi naka train, ” said  Corpuz, a National Age Group Triathlon champion in Subic earlier this year.

” No excuses, the Hong Kong team  was just  too strong  , they have a very good program and has been producing junior champions, in fact  in the region, HK  is the only one that can compete  against Japan. What we need to do is  adopt  the same approach  of Hong Kong in strengthening our junior triathletes especially in the swim leg, ” said Tom Carrasco Jr, president of the organizing Triathlon Association of the Philippines ( TRAP ).

Tomorrow morning (Sunday), focus will be on the men’s and women’s elite races which will also serve as a qualifying event for local triathletes for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

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Written by Lito Cinco