MANILA -- The Philippine triathlon team is confident to retain the Southeast Asian Games crown for the third straight edition.
The SEA Games-bound Philippine national triathletes is on track in their SEAG preparations with their impressive results at the 2019 ASTC Acaba Triathlon Asian Cup in Acaba, Jordan last Friday.
2017 SEA Games gold medalist Kim Mangrobang finished fifth with a record of two hours, seven minutes, and 25 seconds; Filipino-American Kim Kilgroe placed seventh with two hours, 10 minutes, and 20 seconds; and 2015 SEA Games champion Ma. Clare Adorna ranked 10th, clocking two hours, 24 minutes, and 48 seconds, all in the elite women's category.
John Chicano and Edward Macalala placed 27th and 29th positions in the men's category.
Mark Hosana and Andrew Kim Remolino were eliminated after failing to finish the race.
Coach Melvin Fausto believes that the Philippines will dominate in all six events in the upcoming 30th SEA Games as they did in the 2015 and 2017 SEA Games courtesy of Nikko Huelgas.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez is also confident that the Filipino triathletes will provide stiff competition to other participating countries.
"Our athletes, through the proper management of their coaches and the national sports associations, have remained deep in focus as they aim for medal victories in the Sea Games, They are also aware that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are just around. The SEA Games will be a takeoff point for some of them. Let us support their bids and pray for their victory," Ramirez said.
John Chicano and Andrew Kim Remolino are the country's entries in men's triathlon individual competition, while defending champion Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe will vie for the women's individual gold in the event.
Emmanuel Kimpan Comendador and Jarwyn Banatao are competing in the men's duathlon, while Jelsie Sabado and Monica Torres are the country's entries in the distaff side.
The Philippine mixed triathlon team is composed of Chicano, Mangrobang, Kilgroe, Ma. Claire Adorna and Filipino-Spanish Fer Caseres.
The duathlon mixed team is made up of Emmanuel Commendador, Joey Delos Reyes, Monica Torres and Mary Pauline Fornea.
Efraim Hamadon Iñigo is the team's reserve player in the mixed duathlon event.
Fausto said Singapore and Thailand are still the biggest threats for the golds.
With the ongoing training of the team in New Clark City, Fausto added that it is best for triathletes to train in the same place where the competitions will be held.
With the full support of the PSC, the Philippine team also previously trained in Johor Bahru and Putrajaya last year. (PR)