Huelgas: ‘The best way to promote triathlon is by winning’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 23, 2017 09:22 PM
Huelgas: ‘The best way to promote triathlon is by winning’
CATALYST. SEA Games gold medalist Nikko Huelgas stands at the fore of triathlon's rise in the Philippines.

Without a doubt, triathlon is far from the most popular sport in the Philippines.

With Filipinos having set 1-2 finishes in both the men’s and women’s divisions in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, however, triathlon may very well be gaining a full head of steam.

And that is exactly what Nikko Huelgas hoped would have happened when he won his second straight gold medal. “Since 2015, iniisip ko na how to expand the sport in the country. For me kasi, alam kong limited ako sa pag-promote ng sport simply because lagi akong wala sa bansa because of training abroad,” he shared during his homecoming dinner hosted by Chooks-to-Go on Wednesday in Ortigas.

He then continued, “So I thought about it and the best way of promoting triathlon is by winning.”

That he did, along with fellow medalists and fellow Filipinos John Chicano, Kim Mangrobang, and Claire Adorna.

It’s just perfect timing then that the next edition of the regional meet will be held in the Philippines.

And whether or not he will still be seeing action, the 26-year-old said he is sure that the sport will only be stronger by then. “That will most likely take place in Subic, Clark, or Iba, but I don’t know if I will still be competing by then kasi bilog yung mundo, As I get older kasi, sabi nila, you get more injury-prone,” he said.

He also added, “Still, it will be an honor to represent the country on your home soil.”

By then, Huelgas sees the Triathlon Association of the Philippines’ efforts paying off in a big way. “Madaming ginagawa for grassroots ng federation natin especially in the provinces,” he expressed.

Going with him all the way through his journey will still be backer Bounty, the parent company of Chooks-to-Go. “Ang sarap to support an athlete like Nikko kasi narinig ko yung struggles and pain in training he had to go through,” president Ronald Mascarinas said.

He then continued, “In our own little way, we feel we are just giving Nikko a small token of our appreciation.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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