by Waylon Galvez
Andrew Remolino finished in the top 20 of the Elite category in the 2019 Gyeongju ASTC Triathlon Championships recently in South Korea while three other Filipinos held their own.
Remolino clocked one hour, 59 minutes and seven seconds to finish 17th overall in the swim-bike-run meet won by Hong Kong’s Oscar Coggins with a time of one hour, 50 minutes and 34 seconds.
John Chicano was the second best Filipino finisher as he crossed the finish line at 2:00:23, followed by Filipino-Spanish Fer Caseres with 2:01:36; Nikko Huelgas came it fourth at 2:02:45 last Friday.
The other Filipino bets are Juan Carlos Abad, who submitted a time of 2:09:05, followed by Mark Hosana with 2:10:26 in the event that serves as final qualifier for the Philippine Team in the Southeast Asian Games the country is hosting on Nov. 3 to Dec. 11.
Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco said that based on the rankings, the top four are Chicano, Remolino, Hosanna and Caseres, while Huelgas, who missed the event, is at No. 5.
Carrasco said that Huelgas, who won gold medals in the men’s individual in the previous two SEA Games, should perform better than the top ranked triathletes to have a chance at making it to the national team.
“That’s a possibility (for Nikko to not be in the SEA Games),” said Carrasco. “He has to beat them (the four athletes) in the Asian Championship to have a chance or at least be considered.”
The 27-year-old Huelgas said that after his performance in Korea, it’s now up to TRAP officials to determine whether or not to include him in the SEA Games lineup although he expressed optimism on his chances.
“I honestly don’t know yet since I know I could have done better if given the time,” Huelgas said in a message to The Bulletin.
“But it’s all in the hands of the federation. Discussions will be made if I get in the official line up. I believe there are still other events lined up for it, (and) the final submission (by naees) is a bit far away,” Huelgas added.
As for the women’s division, Filipino-American Kim Kilgroe finished 16th overall as she clocked two hour, eight minutes and 27 seconds – the best time for a Philippine participant, followed by 2015 SEA Games champion Ma. Claire Adorna with 2:13:02, Alexandra Ganzon with 2:20:31.
Kim Mangrobang, the 2017 SEAG gold medalist, joined but Did Not Finish (DNF) the course.
A total of six gold medals are at stake that TRAP will organize in the SEA Games, including triathlon and duathlon, which will have three events each – men’s and women’s individual races, and mixed race.