The top Filipino male triathlete won’t be defending his Southeast Asian Games title, but there should be little cause for concern when the competition comes around next month.
Leading the country’s campaign in the men’s division of this year’s Games are Cebuano teenager Andrew Kim Remolino and John Chicano, the silver medalist at the 2017 Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Chicano finished runner-up behind countryman Nikko Huelgas in Malaysia.
Kim Mangrobang, the reigning SEA Games women’s champion, will return and join Kim Kilgroe in the competition.
“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 (TRAP) president Tom Carrasco.
Filipinos are known to be a force in triathlon, finishing 1-2 in the men’s and women’s competitions in the past 2 editions of the SEA Games.
Claire Adorna, part of these Games’ mixed relay team, was the 2015 Games gold medalist and a silver winner in 2017, switching podium positions with Mangrobang.
Huelgas, who has been sidelined by injuries this year and missed defending his title, is expected to race in the mixed team relay with Adorna, Chicano, Mangrobang, Fer Casares and Kim Kilgroe.
Remolino, 19, of Talisay City, 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, an awardee in the 2019 Siklab Youth Sports Awards.
Remolino seized the spot in the men’s individual after crossing the finish line ahead of all Filipino racers in both the 2019 Gyeongju ASTC Asian Triathlon Championships in Korea two months ago and the Subic Bay International Triathlon last April.
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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