Aching triathlete Adorna digs first PHI gold
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2015 02:53 PM
Sobrang worth it lahat ng sacrifice at paghihirap and yung umalis na hindi kasama ang magulang sobrang worth it lahat, nagbunga --- Claire Adorna
SINGAPORE --- Triathlete Ma. Claire Adorna gifted the Philippines its first gold medal in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in a convincing victory in the women’s event where another Pinay bet pocketed silver Saturday morning at the East Coast Park here.
Competing while nursing a left ankle injury, the 21-year-old former swimmer from University of the Philippines, led from start to finish in her first stint in the biennial meet.
Adorna clocked in at 2:13:08 after a grueling swim-bike-run race ahead by 1:18 from teammate Kim Mangrobang, who was taken to the medical tent on a wheelchair after tripping from the finish line arc base and from exhaustion, and a long nine-minute lead from bronze medalist Sanruthai Arunsiri of Thailand.
“Sobrang worth it lahat ng sacrifice at paghihirap and yung umalis na hindi kasama ang magulang sobrang worth it lahat, nagbunga” said Adorna, who broke into tears as she crossed the finish line.
Adorna, seventh placer in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games triathlon and UAAP four swimming event record holder, raced hurt with a torn peroneal tendon – a great sacrifice considering that she postponed her surgery just to represent and bring honor to the nation.
In the swimming race, Adorna could’ve had built a bigger lead if her competitors followed the turning point marker.
“Si Claire tama yung ginawa niya, pero yung iba hindi tama ang ginawa sa turning point na dapat follow the red buoy kaya lang hind sinundan ng iba, si Claire lang. At least siguro 100 meters yun. Mga two minutes din yun,” said national team coach George Vilog, a silver medalist in the 2007 Thailand SEA Games.
Vilog said that at first the incident gave them a bit of concern but when Adorna got out of the water, the coaching staff knew the gold is already in the bag.
“Siguro may konti (na kaba) pero off the swim nakita na namin na positive na ito, OK na kami,” he added.
According to Vilog, they knew about Adorna’s injury but they won’t deny the triathletes warrior spirit to rise above adversity.
“Before the race pa masakit na yun (sabi niya),” the mentor said. “Alam namin na masakit pero sabi namin “Just try your best.” Actually before pa kumikirot na. During training nand’yan yung sakit, di nawawala hanggang ngayon sa karera.”
Adorna has Mangrobang, who finished ninth in last year’s Asian Games, to thank for the great sacrifice of keeping their rivals at bay.
“Kailangan ko siyang palayuin para yung mga kalaban at the back hindi na siya ma-cut sa run. I know I can run good naman than her,” said Mangrobang, who had to protect Adorna in the bike ride.
“No naman I know the best girl will win. Parehas naman kaming nag-training dito but I guess mas condition lang siya this day. Sa triathlon talaga hinid mo masasabi na OK ka every day. Parehas naman kaming naghanda pero I guess it’s her day today,” added Mangrobang when asked if she really intended to let Adorna finish first.
But Mangrobang admitted that protecting each other is their game plan.
“Strategy yun kasi Claire can’t run good so kailangan talagang mag-work as a team,” she said. “I’m very happy kasi I worked hard din naman. Talagang gusto namin ang first and second and gagawin din namin ang lahat kahit sino ang mag-first sa amin o second.”
The two will compete in the Asian Championship in Taipei next week where Adorna will race in the U-23 while Mangrobang will run in the Elite category.
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