Lopez joins Fish 18-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
CEBU’s top long-distance runner-turned-triathlete Mendel Lopez is the latest member of the Fish 18 team of former Philippine team member Cris Aldeguer to compete in the Cobra energy drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Aug. 5 at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
The invitation came a few weeks after the Tabuelan 111 triathlon, where he made an impressive performance despite being disqualified after he missed loops in the bike segment.
“I was so happy when they invited me to be part of the team. Right after I became a member of the team I have been joining their trainings. So far, I’m at the peak of my training now,” Lopez said.
Mendel said he is undergoing a rigid training under coach Dan Brown, the country’s current Philippine triathlon coach, and has been competing in several Ironman competitions.
“Two weeks before Ironman 70.3 kay mag-tapering na ko. I really like my training now, I see so much improvement,” Lopez said.
The Fish 18 team is composed of Cebu’s elite athletes, such as Franz Baguio, Aldeguer, Gerrie Calinawan, Michael Florez, Eugene Sanchez and Leo Oracion.
“Five of us are doing Ironman 70.3. The ones not joining are Michael Flores (injured), Leo Oracion (at Switzerland),” Aldeguer said.
Aldeguer said they decided to get Lopez as part of their team because of the great potentials that Lopez has shown to become the next country’s top triathlete.
“Mendel is exceptional. He has the potential to be one of the best triathletes in the country. It was fitting to invite him to join the team because he shares the same commitment and approach to the sport as the members. Having Dan Brown coaching him also became perfect timing,” Aldeguer said.
The Ironman will be taking center stage on Aug. 5 with 1,600 local and foreign individuals, 115 relays, 31 countries and about 350 triathletes still on the waiting list.
“Excited ko pero wala pa kayo ko nag-think ana. Nag-focus lang jud ko sa training,” Lopez said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2012.