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).
Written by Lito Cinco