Triathlon Association of the Philippines’ President Tom Carrasco has made a bold prediction on how his triathletes will perform in the coming Southeast Asian Games slated later this year in Subic.
“We will win four gold medals, possibly even six or a sweep, if we also win the relay events,” said Carrasco at the Philippine International Convention Center office, where he also holds a key position in the organizing group for the regional games.
And Carrasco has reasons to be optimistic about his triathletes’ performance.
In the past two stagings of the SEAG in 2015 and 2017, the Philippines swept the golds in both the men’s and women’s individual events. In fact, in 2015, Nikko Huelagas and Claire Adorna’s two gold medals were complemented by a silver of Kim Mangrobang in the women’s side, while two years later, Huelgas repeated, this time with Mangrobang for the gold, while John Chicano and Adorna got the silver medals.
This time, even without defending champion Huelgas, who only finished fifth after the qualifying series for the slots in the men’s team and has been entered instead in the relay team, Carrasco remains confident about the chances of the team, particularly first-timer but best local finisher in this year’s Subic International Triathlon in Kim Remolino, Chicano in the men’s side and Europe-based Mangrobang with Kim Kilgroe in the distaff side.
Next month, the entire team, including the duathlon team that is also expected by Carrasco to deliver the gold, is leaving for Johore, Malaysia for a four-week training camp, under international coach Sergio Santos.
By October, they will be in Subic for a 10-day familiarization with the racecourse.
“Our biggest advantage, of course, is the fact that we are holding the event here and we can expect local crowd support in Subic, plus our triathletes’ familiarity with Subic as we do regular training and races there, complemented by our international training for the team. In the case of Mangrobang, she has been training and racing in Europe these past years and the improvement is evident. She even spends her own money and we just reimburse once we get funds from the PSC. Mangrobang dreams of making it in the Olympics and we support her in that dream,” added Carrasco.
For the relay event, Huelgas will be joined by Chicano and Fer Casares, while in the women’s side, Adorna joins Mangrobang and Kilgroe for a power team.
Carrasco also expects his duathletes Doy Comendador and Jarwyn Banatao in the men’s side and Singapore-based Monica Torres and Jelsie Sabado to deliver in their respective events.