EXPOSURE to high level international competitions will be up for the country’s tri-athletes in preparation for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and possibly the 2012 London Olympics.

LC Langit, Neil Catiil, and Kim Mangrobang have been named by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (Trap) to compete for the country in the 16th Asiad this November.

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“We met with the Philippine Sports Commission and they have agreed to support these three triathletes for the Asian Games. They will be receiving P15,000 a month allowances and will be given support in their training and participation in foreign competitions," said Trap president Tom Carrasco Jr. in last week’s SCOOP sa Kamayan in Manila.

"For this year, they will be sent to compete in higher level of tournaments such as the World Cup series where they will be pitted against triathletes from Japan, Korea and China, which are the powerhouse in the Asian Games," he added.

Langit, the most senior among the three, and Catiil will compete overseas while 19-year-old Mangrobang will have her training here in the Philippines.

“She has shown remarkable improvements and like Neil, has produced impressive performances last year in the Asia Cup races," Carrasco said of Langit who finished 11th overall in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

Langit will be training in New Zealand using the online coaching program of Australian coach Rob Pickard.

Meanwhile, Catiil, a Cagayan de Oro native will attend a training camp in Phuket, Thailand in April and will compete in Swizerland for the European races in May. The three will also join training in Jeju, South Korea a month before the Asian Games.

The association targeted a Top 5 finish in both the male and female divisions in the Guangzhou Asiad.

Olympic bid

The organization also said that a good performance in the World Cup series will allow RP triathletes to earn precious ITU (International Triathlon Union) points that would beef up the country’s bid for a seat in the London Olympics via wild card berths.

“Wild cards are given to triathletes who competed and earned points in ITU races but failed to make the qualification (times). Qualifying to the London Games started this year until next year and we are hoping our triathletes will be able to generate enough points that may give them the wild cards spots," said Carrasco.

In a related development, La Salle find Nikko Huelgas, who was last year’s National Age Group Champion, is also being eyed for an Asian Games stint.

"Huelgas has shown he has the potential so we are going to expose him this year to see if he can compete against Asia's best," Carrasco said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)