He won, quite literally, by just a couple of steps.
Jimuel Patillan edged Justin Liam Chiongbian by a fraction of a second to capture the 2013 National Age Group Triathlon Series championship at Dungaree Beach in Subic recently.
The 15-year-old Olongapo bet ruled with a time of 55 minutes and 12.32 seconds in the 500m swim-20K bike-2.5-K run race that saw Chiongbian challenging the early leader in the final 200m stretch.
“I was not expecting a tight race,” Patillan, a member of the national pool, said in Filipino. “I was really hoping to leave my rivals in the run leg but it did not happen.”
Chiongbian—who also fell short against Patillan in the Batang Pinoy National Finals last December—checked in less than a second later at 55:12:79 to settle for runner-up honors.
Magali Bernasconi Echauz, though, ran away with the women’s crown with a time of 1:01:25.
The race serves as one of the local qualifying tournaments for next year’s Youth Olympic Games qualifier in Nanjing, China, thus boosting Patillan and Echauz’s chances to earn a slot.
“I will have to train harder if I want to represent the country in the YOG qualifier,” said Patillan.
Ranque rounded up the podium finishers in the men’s side at 55:37.00, while Victoria Deldio posted a time of 1:02:22 and Jessica Salazar had a 1:08:05 clocking to finish in the top three.
“I still have to finish strong in the other qualifying races,” said the 15-year- old Echauz.
The third YOG qualifying race is set in April in Alabang. Jasmine W. Payo