THE Araw ng Dabaw Triathlon 2017, presented by the Triathlon Association of Davao (Triad), will kick off on March 5 at the Villa Josefina Village in Toril, Davao City.

Triad board of director Eustaquio "Stax" Savellano, in a Facebook message to Sun.Star Davao, said triathlon is a potential sport that can win gold medals for the country in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Thus, Triad backs the grassroots program of Triathlon Association of the Philippines (Trap) through hosting triathlon camps and races in the city.

Savellano said the upcoming race will serve as the city's first qualifying event to select athletes for the 2017 Batang Pinoy National Finals and the 2017 Philippine National Games (PNG).

"We will again discover and develop athletes for individual and mixed team relay triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon events," he said, adding that entries from the cities of Valencia, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Surigao and Tagum will raise the level of competition.

They expect some 150 triathletes who will see action in novice super mini sprint, juniors 16-19 and adult sprint events.

The top three finishers will receive trophies while all finishers will get medals.

Savellano also said Davao City's top three adult male and female finishers, meanwhile, will advance to the Philippine National Games.