Chicano and Banzon Lead Winners in Apollo Petroleum Jelly TRI 2020
2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalist John Leerams Chicano of Team Apollo Petroleum Jelly and Lyllian Grace Banzon of Team Sante Barley posted the best time finishes among all standard distance competitors during the Apollo Petroleum Jelly TRI 2020 event held recently at the Subic Bay Freeport.
Chicano proved to be untouchable among all the men finishing the standard distance 1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run race in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 42 seconds easily winning the 25-29 age-group title. 35-39 champion Ronald Molit came next in 2:23:47 while 18-24 champion Joshua Alexander Ramos was the 3rd fastest with 2:25:00.
Among the ladies in the event presented by Apollo Petroleum Jelly and supported by Cleene, MEDIPLAST , LeGARDE L-Carnitine, Vermosa Sports Hub, Alviera, Clark Global City, Smart, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Acea Subic Bay and Court Meridian Hotel & Suites, Banzon (30-34 champion) and Ines Santiago (35-39 champion) finished less than a minute apart respectfully timing 2:41:08 and 2:41:59. Amanda Carpo came in next at 2:48:16 winning the 45-49 title.
In the Team Competition, Team Sante Barley emerged as the champion with the best time of 12:44:16. For the relay categories, the champions declared were Maxi Atletika – Zalora 2 (All-Female), Maxi Atletika Multisports D (All-Male), and Fitness First – Salice (Mixed).
Regarding the quality of the event that was also backed by hydration partners Pocari Sweat and Sip Purified Water, timing partner Garmin, shoe partner Saucony and recovery partner Air Relax Massage Guns, Chicano described the race courses as well-crafted. While the persistent wind prevented the heat from wearing him down, the SEA Games gold medalist still found the bike leg a nice challenge because of it. For her part, Sprint Distance 15-19 champion Lauren Plaza confirmed a similar experience regarding the wind’s effect on the bike leg and still she had an enjoyable racing experience and praised the cheering spectators and the race organizers.
“This is our first triathlon race and we are very happy about the large participation as well as the collective positive feedback from the athletes. This event was conceptualized to create a venue for athletes to test their limits while enjoying a chafe-free experience,” Apollo Petroleum Jelly Brand Manager Jamie Reyes-Omorogbe stated.
Widely known as a staple in every Filipino’s household, Apollo Petroleum Jelly is an athlete’s secret weapon. It can help lubricate skin areas that are predisposed to chafing, perfect for triathletes who has constant contact between skin, clothing and footwear during their races. Apollo Petroleum Jelly starts at PHP29.50 for 25 grams, and goes up to PHP 142.00 for 200 grams. It is available in drugstores, leading drugstores and supermarkets and department stores nationwide. To learn more about Apollo Petroleum Jelly and other related products, visit Philusa.com.ph
This Press Release was issued on behalf of Bike King Philippines and Apollo Petroleum Jelly.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from John Chicano by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
A Chat with 2019 SEA Games Gold Medalist and Southeast Asia’s Triathlon King – John Chicano
Since he first participated in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2017, John Leerams Chicano raked in notable honors for the Philippines and took his career in the multisport of triathlon (swim-bike-run) even higher.
Today, Chicano is one of the highest-ranking members of the National Team of triathlon and this past December, he won the gold medal in the men’s triathlon event of the 2019 SEA Games that was held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (so close to his native Olongapo City). With that big victory, he established himself as Southeast Asia’s newest triathlon king replacing Nikko Huelgas (2015 and 2017 SEA Games gold medalist). It was also the big reward for the long road (about a decade) he literally took engaging in multisport events like triathlon and duathlon.
Recently I met Chicano and had a nice chat with him.
For you, my readers, here is a look at 3-time SEA Games medalist John Chicano.
A quick look at his background
John Chicano has been engaging in triathlon for many years now and has been a member of the Philippine team along the way. He represented the country in many events of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), most notably the annual Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT). He also raced in other triathlon events organized by Bike King Philippines and other race organizers. On livelihood, he previously worked as a bike mechanic as well as a janitor. He now has his own family to support.
When it comes to triathlon at the SEA Games, he made his debut in the 2017 edition of the games held in Malaysia and won the silver medal in the individual men’s triathlon event next to teammate Nikko Huelgas who won the gold medal back then (note: Huelgas first won the SEA Games gold in 2015). His achievement was recognized by the media and the national government which in turn rewarded him (along with all other medalists) with cash incentives in accordance to Republic Act Number 10699.
Winning the SEA Games gold medal at Subic Bay
On the early morning of December 1, 2019, the SEA Games men’s triathlon event started with Chicano and Cebu-based teammate Andrew Kim Remolino representing the nation. After going through the pressure and enduring the pain of the 1.5 kilometer swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run event, Chicano won the gold medal in 1 hour, 53 minutes and 26 seconds. Remolino followed with 1:55:03 to win the silver medal, completing the 1-2 punch for the Philippines.
“We were confident in the sense that we prepared well for the SEA Games which includes three months of training at Clark,” Chicano said. “While I was confident to win, there were a few moments of uncertainty since the big competition (men’s triathlon) could turn out to be unpredictable.”
During the December 1 event, Chicano and Remolino raced together during the 40-kilometer bike leg and on the spot they came up with a new strategy to win gold and silver. At that particular stage, another foreign competitor biked near them. Earlier in the swim leg, Remolino was the first to emerge from the sea while Chicano was 4th (an Indonesian and a Singaporean were slightly ahead of him). During the 10-kilometer run leg, Chicano and Remolino built up their lead as a country and, ultimately, he gave it his all to win the gold, literally upgrading from silver (2017 SEA Games). The victory was witnessed by the top sports officials, the coaches, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials, the spectators, corporate sponsors and, of course, Chicano’s family.
“It was a very happy moment for me to cross the finish line for the gold medal. I even felt like crying for happiness back then,” Chicano recalled the very moment he won the gold and became Southeast Asia’s best. “This was the big payback for almost ten years of effort racing in triathlon and growing to be stronger and more competitive. My triathlon effort and build-up started in 2010, preceded by biking in 2009. The feeling was so tremendous and happy.”
During the medal awarding ceremony, Chicano thought deeply about his SEA Games achievement and that he could bring further honors to the nation (plus his locality) in the years to come. The day after that, Chicano and teammates Remolino, Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe got tremendous spotlight together in the national newspapers which was expected considering their victorious achievements.
His SEA Games gold medal achievement not only raked in praise from many, financial rewards also came in from the national government (RA 10699), the City Government of Olongapo, corporate sponsors and other generous parties. Chicano even got to visit the Philippine Senate and met with Senator Richard Gordon.
As of this writing, Chicano is strongly focused on triathlon and he believes that what he achieved so far as a triathlete, and also as Southeast Asia’s best male triathlete, will be remembered for a long time and perhaps inspire the next generation of Filipinos to excel in sports.
When it comes to the near future, Chicano will go to Australia very soon to attend the Annual General Meeting and Awards Night of the FilOz Triathlon Club as their Guest Speaker. After that, he will undergo triathlon training for a few more weeks there in Australia.
From this point on, I recommend you all to take a close look at Chicano in triathlon events both local and overseas. He is, after all, Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon king.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from Kim Mangrobang by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
Meet Southeast Asia’s Reigning Triathlon Queen – Kim Mangrobang!
When triathlon (swim-bike-run) made its debut in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in late 2005 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone here in the Philippines, Marion Kim Mangrobang was still a teenager who witnessed the event as a spectator. Already a junior-level member of the Philippine triathlon team, she naturally cheered for her older teammates Ani De Leon and Sandra Araullo who represented the nation in the first-ever SEA Games triathlon event for women.
Fast forward to December 1, 2019, Mangrobang represented the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event (her 3rd SEA Games since 2015) which was also held at Subic Bay and, more notably, won the gold medal in front of a large cheering crowd (with coach Ani De Leon – Brown, the other Philippine team coaches, officials of the Philippine Sports Commission, PHISGOC and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority plus other important personalities watching near the finish line) followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe who copped the silver.
As far as the SEA Games records go, Mangrobang won a total of four medals since her debut in 2015, specifically 3 gold medals (the first gold won in 2017) and 1 silver medal (won in 2015). In retrospect, her gold medal victory at Subic Bay was a successful defense of her gold medal achievement in the 2017 SEA Games which essentially established her as Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon queen.
That being said, I am very happy to present to you my feature interview of Kim Mangrobang which starts right now.
Kim Mangrobang’s background
Mangrobang was born in Sta. Mesa, Manila, in 1991 to parents Richard (an engineer) and Dine (a manpower firm executive). Since the age of four, her family has been living in Santa Rosa, Laguna which is now a progressing city south of Metro Manila.
Mangrobang got into the sport of swimming as a result of her parents’ encouragement for her when she was little. She found sports to be an enjoyable pastime.
“As with most other parents, my mom and dad encouraged me to get into sports during the summer season when I was young. So I joined a swim team and along the way I felt I was playing given the aquatic aspect of swimming,” she recalled. “My teammates and I had fun with swimming and later I realized that swimming would be a serious form of competition.”
At the age of nine, she started swimming and eventually it became a daily part of her life similar with her teammates. As an elementary student, she continued swimming and eventually she became a varsity swimmer in her high school days (with the goal of making it in the Palarong Pambansa) and participated in many swimming competitions (between local sports clubs).
Being a member of her school’s swim team and of a separate swim club, Mangrobang learned a lot about competitive swimming related to national sports and inter-club competition. Along the way, she had to deal with a certain disadvantage of hers – her height.
“I really was a short girl back then. When I was twelve, my swimming coach noticed my height disadvantage and he figured out that it would be more helpful if I would try out with the Philippine team of triathlon,” she said.
That coach turned out to be none other than Abelardo “Abet” Alon-Alon who was a former national champion in triathlon as well as a former national team coach in the said sport. Historically, Alon-Alon was a standout in Philippine triathlon’s early years back in the 1990s His suggestion to Mangrobang to get into triathlon and into Philippine multisport turned out to be a blessing for her and the nation.
She immediately took part in a tryout (for the Philippine triathlon team) which was composed of a 1.5 kilometer swim and 3-kilometer run. Her swim time was 27 minutes and 36 seconds while she timed around 12 minutes in the run. She qualified and her membership with the Philippine triathlon team started on the junior (youth) level.
“That was the start of my new journey in sports and I realized that there were better opportunities in triathlon,” she recalled.
Triathlon career and rise in prominence
Gradually Kim Mangrobang redeveloped herself athletically under the guidance of triathlon coaches like Raul Cuevas (now heading race organizer Bike King Philippines), Peter Gonzales and Abet Alon-Alon to name a few. As she maintained her swimming, she learned to bike and run gaining valuable skills and experience. Before participating in triathlon, she engaged in aquathlon (swim-run) events.
At age thirteen, she took part in a Fit-and-Tri event for youth finishing 6th overall in a short distance aquathlon race held in Ayala Alabang Village. She finished 2nd to the last back then as she was still getting oriented. She went on to join a lot more aquathlon events later.
Her first-ever triathlon performance happened in another Fit-and-Tri event some time later. In that race, she finished 6th place. In further triathlon events, she gradually made her way up until reaching 1st place.
“To the best of my memory, I finished at around 4th place overall during the first year of competing in the Fit-and-Tri series. In the following year, I reached 1st place overall. Emerging 1st became normal for me in the years that followed, until I reached the age of fifteen or sixteen,” she recalled.
In 2006, Mangrobang joined the Junior Elite race of the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and finished 2nd. That event was her first time to compete with foreign triathletes her age and instead of feeling intimidated, she performed well and still enjoyed the experience. Her value as a member of the Philippine team grew more. That same year, she raced in the Asian Duathlon Championships held in Clark finishing 4th in the Junior Women contest.
At age seventeen, Mangrobang tested herself in a Standard Distance (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) event during the 2008 Subic Bay ASTC Long Distance Triathlon event and won the bronze. Ahead of her were LC Langit (gold) and Monica Torres (silver).
In May 2009, Mangrobang finished 10th in the Elite Women contest of that year’s SUBIT clocking 2 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds (2:32:45). In the years that followed, she kept on representing the Philippines in the Elite Women contests of not only SUBIT but also in other triathlon events of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) that were held around the world. No matter how tough the field of competition was, the Santa Rosa triathlete kept focusing and persevering on doing her best and improving herself.
In the 2016 edition of SUBIT (2016 Subic Bay NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup) held at Subic Bay, Mangrobang emerged as the Elite Women champion followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe and Hong Kong’s Kate Rutherford. She timed 2:10:40 and won several ITU qualifying points in return. For the Philippines, it was a rare gold medal victory in the history of SUBIT which has often been dominated by foreign triathletes. The said victory was also proof that Mangrobang’s overseas training (under the guidance of Portugal-based coach Sergio Santos) paid off nicely. To this day, her training in Portugal continues.
Mangrobang also achieved great honor for the nation in non-triathlon events. She emerged as the women’s champion in the Lisbon Meia-Maratona Dos Descombrimentos Half Marathon that was held on December 6, 2015 in Portugal. Her victorious performance saw her timing 1:22:40 outclassing 2nd placer Ceu Nunes (1:26:55) and 3rd placer Sofia Mateiro (1:27:34). That particular sports event was noted to be a programmed race to test the fitness of triathletes. It was also a rarity that Filipinos get to race in the said event, which made Mangrobang’s victory even more outstanding.
Triathlon at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
“I was still in high school back then. Me and my family left Santa Rosa at dawn to go to Subic Bay to watch the SEA Games triathlon. I had to take a leave of absence from school since that was a school day and I had to go back to school the very next day,” Mangrobang recalled. “When we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of spectators around the venue. The excitement was really high even before the race started.”
Mangrobang recalled that as a spectator, she felt nervous for the nation and what was at stake just as the individual participants were formally introduced during the pre-race ceremony. Like many others, she could only stand and watch the race unfold from behind the barricades (used for crowd control) and experience bouts of anxiety and nervousness. She cheered for her older teammates Sandra Araullo and Ani de Leon. Araullo went on to win the silver medal while De Leon (now a coach) finished 4th.
“I was really nervous back then as a spectator. Then I said to myself, ‘how much more nervous I would be if I was the one racing for the Philippines in the SEA Games,’” she stated. She added that she noticed the added pressure of participating and literally carrying the nation and the local people’s hope that victory would be achieved. She imagined herself in the future being in such a high-stakes situation.
After almost ten years later, Kim Mangrobang made her debut in the SEA Games (2015) in Singapore as a triathlete. Her teammate back then was Claire Adorna.
“Coaches of TRAP selected who were the best to represent our country in the SEA Games with results required,” Mangrobang recalled. “Based on the results of the time, they saw that me and Claire were the best and we were selected for the games. There were no qualifying races back then, which is different compared to today.”
In the 2015 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event, Claire Adorna and Mangrobang worked together with a strategy to help the former gain a lead early in the event. Adorna raced with a foot injury back then and the team’s focus was to help her (and the nation) build up a good lead in both the swim and bike legs of the race, and ensure victory even if her injury would slow her down in the 10-kilometer run leg. The strategy was a success for the Philippines as the injured Adorna won the gold medal and Mangrobang captured the silver medal. Their respective times were 2:13:08 and 2:14:26. The bronze medal went to Thailand’s Arunsiri Sanruthai who was more than seven minutes behind Mangrobang.
“During the build-up heading to the SEA Games of 2017, there was anxiety and pressure among us teammates mainly because expectations for us to repeat success were so high as a result of what we achieved in the previous SEA Games,” she stated.
To put things in perspective, the Philippines not only repeated its success in the 2015 SEA Games, they exceeded it by having twin gold-and-silver medal victories in both the individual men’s and individual women’s triathlon events in the 2017 edition of the games. On the men’s race, Nikko Huelgas won his 2nd consecutive gold medal while John Chicano added more punch to the victory by grabbing the silver medal. For Mangrobang, that particular event marked her first time to win the SEA Games gold medal.
“It was a very happy moment for me personally because all the efforts and training invested paid off in the best way possible,” Mangrobang recalled her feeling of winning her first gold medal. “A lot of relief followed as all the pressure and nervousness accumulated just vanished and got replaced with the thrill of victory. Naturally, I became very thankful.”
With regards to the 2019 SEA Games, Mangrobang spent a great deal of her time overseas. As she kept training in Portugal (plus a month of training in Mexico), she represented the country in many sports events that were held in other parts of the world for the first eleven months of 2019. As such, she did not spend much time in the Philippines.
Regardless, she won the gold medal of the individual women’s triathlon once more in the latest SEA Games marking her successful defense of her standing as Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen. Her time was 2:02:00. The December 1, 2019 victory at Subic Bay also marked the full turn of life for Mangrobang who went from spectator in the 2005 SEA Games triathlon into Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete fourteen years later at the same freeport.
After winning the two 2019 SEA Games gold medals (individual women and mixed team relay), Mangrobang and her medalist teammates were greeted by lots of local spectators who also expressed their gratitude to them.
“Getting praised and being thanked a lot in return for the victory is normal. It is also a very humbling feeling to see so many spectators rooting for us national athletes to win. Through that experience, I realized there is truth to the 2019 SEA Games tagline of ‘We Win As One,’” she stated.
Mangrobang and her winning teammates (John Chicano, Kim Kilgroe, Kim Remolino, Claire Adorna and Fer Casares) plus members of the coaching staff were nicely rewarded by the national government through Republic Act Number 10699. They formally received their cash incentives in a special ceremony held at Malacanang Palace in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The President jokingly said I resembled a certain past classmate of his from his days as a Grade 5 student,” Mangrobang said recalling her short chat with Duterte as she had her photo session with him at Malacanang. It was her 2nd time to be with the President.
The post-SEA Games buzz did not stop with Duterte. Apart from meeting corporate sponsors and having sessions with some members of the press, Mangrobang was acknowledged by the respective local government units (LGUs) of Santa Rosa in Laguna and Bauan in Batangas through social media.
Bauan claimed Mangrobang as their own since her mother is a native there. After accepting their invitation, she attended the flag raising ceremony at Bauan and was presented by the LGU officials to the locals. They gave her a certificate of recognition. Mangrobang also attended another flag raising ceremony with the Provincial Government of Batangas (headed by Governor DoDo Mandanas) held in Batangas City.
Aiming High for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
As of now, Kim Mangrobang is aiming to get qualified to represent the Philippines in the individual women’s triathlon event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. With the support of San Miguel Corporation, Nike, Specialized, Oakley, Garmin and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) and the guidance of coach Sergio Santos, she is now in full training in Portugal and eventually she will be joining several triathlon events (recognized by the ITU) that serve as qualifying races for the Olympics.
According to Mangrobang, there will only be 55 slots for the Tokyo Olympic Games individual women’s triathlon event. The qualifying period will end this coming May and subsequently the final lineup of triathletes racing in the Olympics will be announced.
“I’m very focused now on getting into the Olympics and I’m using whatever energy I have for it,” Mangrobang declared.
Message to the Readers
“When I race, I realize that it is a big responsibility because I become an inspiration to other people and I hope that what I achieved will inspire others to engage in the active lifestyle as that is important. I also hope that once they get into triathlon, they will learn to work hard and train smart.”
Note: My special thanks to Akrotiri restaurant located at Commercenter, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City. Akrotiri really has a nice place (which was great for this feature interview) as well as a fine selection of food and beverages. Those of you who are reading this, I highly recommend Akrotiri.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Good news for sports enthusiasts and followers of the sports of triathlon (swim-bike-run) and duathlon (run-bike-run)! Tickets are NOT required to watch live the triathlon and duathlon events of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) scheduled for the first week of December in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
This is according to 2019 SEA Games director for marketing Raoul Floresca who revealed a list of official sports events that will not be ticketed and that most of them are outdoor sports set in open areas. He also added that there will be no personnel from the marketing team and SM Tickets (the official seller of 2019 SEA Games tickets) won’t have any personnel present.
The SEA Games triathlon (December 1 and 4) and duathlon (December 2 and 5) in Subic Bay are both outdoor events and anyone who wants to watch them on location should not worry anymore about having to search for tickets. Floresca stated that spectator services must take charge of the entry of spectators at all venues of SEA Games events that don’t require tickets.
Apart from triathlon and duathlon, other SEA Games events set in Subic Bay that don’t require tickets include Canoe/Kayak, Rowing, Sailing, Windsurfing, open water swimming and shooting to name some.
SEA Games events that require tickets
When it comes to SEA Games events that will be held in enclosed areas or stadiums, tickets are required for people who want to watch live. The SEA Games badminton event in Muntinlupa City will be held inside the city’s sports facility in Barangay Tunasan and if you want to watch the games, you must buy a ticket first. This will also be applied on the SEA Games underwater hockey event that will be held at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus City, Cavite. For more details or to buy tickets for badminton and underwater hockey, visit SM Tickets online.
“We’re fortunate that a lot of spectators supported the event. Hopefully these sports facilities will eventually help promote wellness and healthy living for many Filipinos. Seeing the faces of the participants, they were so happy. It’s just the beginning of what’s more to come [here in New Clark City] in the next few years,” BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon said.
Dizon added that the race was another opportunity to test the sports facilities before the SEA Games which will run from November 30 to December 11. Official Test games will start next week and will be participated by international athletes.
Participants raced at the world-class Athletics Stadium, Aquatics Center, and the new access road from New Clark City to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway which will boost connectivity in Central Luzon.
There were also para-athletes who joined the race.
“This event proves that you don’t have to be an elite athlete to do this sport,” says GoClark Sports and Events Director Jumbo Tayag.
Triathlon silver medalist John “Rambo” Chicano who will compete in this year’s 30th South East Asian Games are a huge help for national athletes as they train for competitions.
“Napakalaking tulong ng ganitong facility para sa aming mga atleta kasi ‘di na namin kailangan mag-overseas na training camp so ‘yun pa lang, makakatipid na kami kasi pamasahe pa lang ‘tsaka accommodation din malaki. Sa ganitong paraan, nakakatipid na. Nakaka-engganyo pa tayo ng kabataan [to turn to sports] dito sa Clark,” Chicano said.
“[For] Filipino athletes, to do the SEA Games in front of the home crowd is one of our biggest opportunities to promote our sport, triathlon. To showcase that we are good in endurance sports and that it should be given so much funding,” Gold medalist triathlete Nikko Huelgas underscored. “Kasi ‘pag tinutulungan ‘yung Philippine sports mas naiinspire ‘yung buong bayan to engage in sports and nabibigyan ng opportunities ‘yung mga tao magkaroon ng magandang buhay. Sports gives you a better life.”
Both the Athletics Stadium and Aquatics Center meet the standards of international governing bodies, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA).
During the recent edition of the Usapang Sports forum held at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila, 2-time SEA Games medalist Maria Claire Adorna expressed that the Philippines campaign will achieve success in the triathlon events (Individual Men, Individual Women and Mixed Team Relay) of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (30th SEA Games) which will be held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Adorna, who won the SEA Games triathlon gold in 2015 in Singapore and the silver medal in 2017 in Malaysia, was confident that the team will do well this year.
“We have strong chance to win especially because we will host the SEA Games,” Adorna said during the forum.
To put things in perspective, in the Men’s race, the Philippines will be represented by John Chicano and Andrew Kim Remolino. 2-time SEA Games medalist Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe will race in the Women’s competition. Adorna has been shortlisted with Mangrobang and Kilgroe in the mixed team relay for women while 2-time SEA Games gold medalist Nikko Huelgashas been shortlisted with Chicano and Fer Casares on the men’s side. Specifically, a decision will be made as to which triathletes will do the mixed team relay event the day before the race begins.
The distance of the triathlon will be 1.5-kilometer swimming, 40KM biking and 10KM running.
Hard-earned SEA Games Gold Medal
It is recalled during the 2015 SEA Games, Adorna revealed to reporters and bloggers that winning the gold medal was very hard to achieve not only because of competition from other Southeast Asian nations but also due to the fact that she had been injured along the way. Check out the video below.
Back to the sports forum, the 2-time medalist pointed to Singapore and Malaysia as the likely biggest rivals.
When it comes to entering the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Adorna said that local triathletes need to participate in many Asian-level tournaments as possible in order to accumulate the essential ranking points in order to qualify in the said Games. She urged the entire nation to pray and support for the entire Philippine team.
The Usapang Sports forum was presented by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) and sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, Pagcor, Community Basketball Association, and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks. TOPS president Ed Andaya and Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra were present during the forum.
No Three-peat in SEA Games Men’s Triathlon
With Chicano and Remolino (who is preparing in his native Cebu) representing the Philippines in the Men’s race in the SEA Games triathlon, there definitely will be no “three-peat” this year in reference to Nikko Huelgas who won the Men’s gold medals in 2015 and 2017. The Triathlon Association of the Philippines announced this past August its SEA Games lineup for the triathlon event.
Huelgas however still has a chance to share the glory of winning another gold medal in the men’s mixed team relay.
Among the ladies, 2017 SEA Games gold medalist Kim Mangrobang has a chance to win a 2nd consecutive gold medal. Recently she finished 5th in the Elite Women category of the 2019 ATU Triathlon African Cup in Morocco. Her teammate Kim Kilgroe finished 8th in that same race.
For more triathlon updates, visit the TRAP Facebook page here.
For updates of the 30th SEA Games, click here for the website and here for the Facebook page.