Pinoy triathletes out to strike first SEA Games gold
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 05, 2015 07:35 PM
Will the triathletes deliver the country's first gold medal?
SINGAPORE – Armed with intensive training abroad and rated as the region’s best, Filipino triathletes are eyeing to give the Philippines its first gold medal in the 28th Singapore Southeast Asian games when the event starts with the women’s competition early on Saturday.
Claire Adorna and Kim Mangrobang, who were the best Southeast Asian performers in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, finishing seventh and ninth, respectively, are tipped to dominate the swim-bike-run event set at the East Coast Park near the Changi International Airport.
“Realistically, if we look at their times, of course we also review their opponent’s times, these two kids are at a different level than their competition, more so than the men,” said women’s triathlete coach Ani de Leon Brown on Friday.
“I believe that his two (Adorna and Mangrobang) will dominate tomorrow,” added Brown, who finished fourth in the women’s triathlon in the Philippine SEA Games 10 years ago.
Both Adorna, 21, and Mangrobang, 23, she added, are coming off intensive training separately overseas going into this competition.
Mangrobang trained with Niko Huelgas at the elite triathlon training camp in Rio Maior, Portugal while Adorna worked out with teammate Jonard Saim in Mooloolaba, Australia under world-class coach Toby Coote.
Adorna, whose personal best is 2:09.70 set in the Incheon Asiad, said there was pressure for her and Mangroban in being tagged as the favorites in the event “but we just focus on our race and hope to do our best.”
She added that she didn’t consider her teammate as a rival for the gold “because she trained and I trained hard. We consider the (foreign) competition as our rivals and just want to make our country proud.”
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Brown reiterated her confidence in her charges and expected either of them to take the gold and silver in the event.
“Yes, honestly at this point, I believe Adorna and Mangrobang can both win. They have worked hard that’s why I’m proud of them,” the coach said.
Men’s coach George Vilog said he also looking at a 1-2 finish Huelgas and Saim when they vie in the men’s competitionon Sunday.