A Filipino has finally crashed the duathlon world stage.
Mirasol Abad clinched a slot in the 2013 World Games after an impressive podium finish in the Century Tuna ASTC Asian Duathlon Championships over the weekend at Remy Field inside the Subic Bay Freeport.
The 27-year old-Abad, a national team ace from Davao City, negotiated the grueling 10K run-40K bike-5K run in two hours, one minute and 57 seconds to finish third behind Japan’s top two bets.
Abad also led the strong run by the local contingent as the Philippines swept the men’s under-23 Elite and posted a 1-2 finish in the mini-sprint.
“[Victories] posted by our young duathletes showed that we are on the right track as far as developing our athletes is concerned,” said Tom Carrasco Jr., president of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (Trap).
“We will try to look for a good duathlon coach from abroad to help train Abad in time for the World Games,” Carrasco said.
Abad will compete in the 2013 Elite Duathlon World Championships in Cali, Colombia, on July 26 and 27 along with the race’s top two finishers—Olympian Ai Ueda and Japanese teammate Eri Miyazawa.
Ueda, a veteran of the Beijing and London Olympics, led all the way to bag the Asian women’s crown with a time of 2:00.54.
Miyazawa, who outsprinted Abad in the final 150-meter stretch, claimed runner-up honors with a 2:01.47 clocking.
“I decided to slow down to make sure that I’ll be able to finish the race,” said Abad, a silver medalist in the Powerman Duathlon Asian Championship early this month.
Russia’s Sergey Yakovlev topped the men’s Elite in 1:43:14, followed by Japan’s Yuka Fukaura, who defended his Asian men’s crown by checking in just four seconds later (1:43:18).
Also earning world slots are top five finishers Morimichi Iihoshi (1:43:41) and Tadashi Mori (1:43:44) of Japan and Thomas Bruins of the Netherlands (1:44:27) in the men’s Elite; and former Asian champion Airi Sawada of Japan (2:04:57) and Hong Kong’s Joyce Cheung (2:07:11) in the women’s side.
Filipino Ryan Mendoza, the 2006 Asian champion, wound up seventh with a time of 1:46:59 in the men’s Elite.
The trio of John Chicano (1:42:55), Robinson Estevez (1:43:43) and Nikko Huelgas (1:44:11) made it a Philippine sweep in the men’s Under 23 Elite, while Cebuano Justine Chiongbian (37:51) and Olongapo’s Jose Nobles (37:54) ruled the mini-sprint race.
National pool member Victoria Deldio picked up a silver in the female mini-sprint (43:51) in the race that drew 455 racers. Jasmine W. Payo