SOME young athletes thrive on their own, while others take pride in having been nurtured by their doting parents.
For Cebuano siblings, Earol and Rhexiel Belonguil, their fast, steady rise to success in triathlon is anchored on the love and care of their family.
Their accomplishments have been remarkable considering they just began to train seriously in the sport for less than a year.
Competing in only their second triathlon competition, they were able to achieve podium finishes in the recent Alaska Ironkids at Azuela Cove in Davao City.
Earol, the elder Belonguil at 11, topped the 11-12 category of the swim-bike-run competition, which was a vast improvement from his seventh-place finish when he joined an IronKids’ event for the first time in Cebu in August last year.
Earol said the motivation they get from her mother, Clarice, and the full support from his father Harold, an Overseas Filipino Worker, inspire him to set lofty goals and train hard to achieve them.
“My parents just want us to have fun and I have learned to discipline myself and train hard. Their support is enough motivation for me to succeed,” said Earol, who is eyeing to join the national team.
Shy and soft-spoken, Rhexiel doesn’t look like the typical warrior athlete.
The eight-year old cutie is the family’s baby when not in competition but shy and soft-spoken Rhexiel transforms into an active player when the game is on.
Rhexiel finished behind top winner Eleora Avanzado to bag the silver medal in the girls’ 6-8 years’ category of the competition that aims to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids and serves as a venue for family bonding.
“I’m very thankful to my mom for his support. This medal is for her and daddy,” said Rhexiel, who reached the finish crying and complaining of stomach ache.
“It was painful but I continued because I was determined to finish the race.” Just like her elder brother, Rhexiel’s second-place finish was a big leap in performance from her triathlon debut in Cebu, where she finished 11th. Clarice was with the relatives of his husband in Davao, to cheer for their two children.
“It’s really very important that the parents and whole family are in full support of their children, in whatever they pursue. Just letting them know that we are here for them is enough to motivate them,” she said. “My advice to the parents, just let your kids have fun in their chosen sport. They will learn to push their limits without us pushing them hard.”
Harold, who had been a seafarer for 20 years, extended his vacation in the country to cheer his two kids.
“Hopefully, they will continue with what they love to do and the discipline that is very important when they grow up,” said Harold.
Two days after his kids’ competition, he boarded his cargo ship again.
Leading the winners in the annual event organized by Sunrise Events and sponsored by Alaska Milk, were Clifford Pusing and Moira Erediano who topped the boys’ and girls’ 13-14 divisions, respectively.
Pusing beat eventual second placer Adrian Dionisio and third finisher Irienold Reig Jr. Erediano, on the other hand, nipped Marielle Estreba for the gold.
Other winners were Asia May Araneta in the girls’ 11-12 years old category; Carron Canas and Chloie Dairo (9-10); and Al Dustin Bersabal and Eleora Avanzado (6-8).
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.