Triathlon lived up to expectations in the 30th SEA games as the duo of home grown triathletes John Chicano and Kim Mangrobang came up with scintillating first place finishes in their respective divisions before an appreciative crowd at the finish line at the back of the SBMA Administration building inside Subic Freeport.
Completing the early morning achievements of Chicano and Mangrobang were the silver medal finishes of fellow PH triathletes Kim Remolino and Kim Kilgroe that duplicated triathlon’s 2017 SEAG performance in Malaysia, highlighted by the 1:53.26 time of Chicano, bettering 2017 winner Nikko Huelgas’ time of 1:59.30.
Chicano, 28, made his move at the 3.5K mark of the 10K bike leg and pulled away from the 19-year-old Remolino for a solo finish. Remolino settled for silver finishing in 1:55.03.
“Sobra saya ko ngayon at naibigay namin sa bansa yung dapat namin ibigay. Simula ito ng next level ng triathlon dito sa Pilipinas,” said Chicano.
SEA Games first timer Remolino admitted getting tired in the bike leg where he alternated at the helm with Chicano and Indonesian Muhammad Firman who finished in third place for a bronze medal with a time of 1:57.10.
It was a similar story in the distaff side as Mangrobang, 28, stepped up the pace in the first loop of the run leg to erect an early lead over erstwhile co-bike pacer Kilgroe. Mangroban steadily pulled away for a solo finish, clocking 2:02.00 to Kilgroe’s 2:05.02 while another Indonesia, Octaria Nethevani was a distant third in 2:16.33.
“Talagang pinag handaan ko ito. Medyo kabado ako kanina sa bike pero ginawa ko lang yung palagi kong ginagawa sa ibang races,” said Mangrobang who is trying to qualify in next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Mangrobang has been training and competing in Europe the past two years.
“ We expected a 1 -2 finish in both divisions and we got them both. I am happy about the results,” said Kilgroe.
Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) President and PHISGOC Executive Director Tom Carrasco was on hand to be with his athletes. After the race he looked ahead to delivering both golds in the duathlon event and the team relay event.
“We are already okay at the regional level but I want to go higher and do better at the Asian level. We have the materials to accomplish this,” said a jubilant Carrasco.