After SEA Games success, PH triathlon eyes 2020 Olympic slot
After a strong showing in the Southeast Asian Games, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) is now gunning for greater heights, specifically the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Beyond the SEA Games, our target is to make it to the top 200 of the world rankings and to qualify to the Tokyo Olympic triathlon in 2020,” said TRAP President Tom Carrasco in the weekly PSA Forum in Shakey’s Malate.
The huge boost of confidence is rooted from triathlon’s achievements in the biennial meet, where Nikko Huelgas bagged the gold in the men’s event and Claire Adorna and Kim Mangrobang went 1-2 in the women’s.
“We approached the PSC to give us additional support to expose our athletes to high performance camps and high competitive events in Asia,” said Carrasco.
Though TRAP is shooting for the stars, Carrasco said that the association is tempering their expectations and admited that the Philippines only has a slim chance of fielding a participant in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“There’s still a slim chance, but we have to finish either first or second to be qualified to the Rio Olympics,” he said.
Also not working in the country’s favor is the status of our triathletes, with no one for the 25-man pool still ranked in the top 200 of the world. Carrasco said that it is one of the association’s targets moving forward.
Carrasco, though, remains optimistic as he can see the SEA Games success as a the first step to success for triathlon.
“We haven’t achieved this immediately. This is just the third time that triathlon was included in the SEA Games and we want to sustain our standing in the region,” he said. “In 2017, we want to retain the gold, then in the Asian Games, we want a podium finish.”
“We have more chances in the Asian scene so we want to be in the top 10.”
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