Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) President Tom Carrasco is optimistic the country can send its first triathlete to the Olympics in the Tokyo edition this year.
Carrasco pins his hopes mostly on 29-year-old Kim Mangrobang, who has won three gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games.
“Kim M. is healthy, hopefully until the Olympics. I’m quite optimistic with her,” Carrasco said.
Mangrobang has been training extensively in a camp Desmor, Portugal until early April with Portuguese coach Sergio Santos.
Individual rankings will be used to determine the quota places for athletes in the Olympics with the Top 26 in the world earning berths and one each from various Continents.
Carrasco said their last option is to be selected as a new flag entry since the country has never sent a triathlete to the Olympics in previous editions.
Other Filipino hopefuls were Fer Casares, Kim Remolino and Nikko Huelgas.
Casares, who won the 2019 SEAG mixed relay gold, recently returned from Spain to train in the country in view of stricter restrictions due to the pandemic, while Remolino and Huelgas are also training locally.
Mangrobang, Casares, Remolino and Huelgas are actually beefing up for the 2021 Asian Triathlon Championships in Hatsukaichi, Japan on April 23 to 25.
The race will also serve as their training ground for the 2021 SEAG that Vietnam is hosting late November.