SEAG champ Mangrobang joins Remolino, Casares in Asian OQT

Published April 14, 2021, 1:51 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Three national triathletes leave their respective training camps to compete in the Asian Championships set April 24 to 25 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.

The race will serve as an Olympic qualifying event for the Tokyo Games where it stakes only one slot per gender.

Kim Mangrobang, Kim Remolino and Fernando Casares will depart for Japan on April 20 to allow more time to comply with travel protocols and restrictions brought by the pandemic.

Mangrobang will come from Desmor, Portugal where she is currently training under Portuguese coach Sergio Santos, Remolino has been training in Cebu, and Casares in Laguna under coach Ani De Leon-Brown.

Hatsukaichi is a city in Hiroshima Prefecture. According to the Johns Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 data that has been regularly updated, Hiroshima has only tallied 156 active cases from March 30 to April 12.

Race venues are the Hatsukaichi City Park Golf Course Offshore for the swim leg, Hatsukaichi City Hall Area Area for bike and run legs, and the Youme Town Hatsukaichi West Parking Lot as a finish line.

Paratriathlon and Elite Men and Women races will be held on April 24, separate from the Age Group race set April 25.

Apart from the Asian Championships, the three athletes are also scheduled in a series of races with hopes of gaining Olympic ranking points.

Casares will also compete in races in Yokohama and Gamagori also in Japan in May and June, while Mangrobang, the country’s top Olympic aspirant in the sport, has five races penciled over the next months in Northern Africa and Southern Europe.

Among those that Mangrobang will join are the World Cup in Portugal on May 23, the World Cup Sprint in Italy on May 29, the African Cup on June 5 and two more pending events in Mexico and Portugal.

Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) President Tom Carrasco remains optimistic the country can send its first triathlete to the Olympics this year, pinning his hopes mostly on Mangrobang.

Mangrobang, 29, boasts of three gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games.

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.