Huelgas, Chicano eye nat’l team spots in Subic triathlon
SUBIC BAY — Top Filipino triathletes Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano will be chasing not just the overall title but slots in the national team as well in Sunday’s NTT ASTC-Subic Bay International Triathlon here.
Huelgas, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion, said the fact that the Triathlon Association of the Philippines will base their performance here the inclusion in the SEA Games team “just raises the bar for all of us.”
“That’s good, I have to be on my toes, no room for complacency,” said Huelgas who along with Ma. Claire Adorna swept the competitions two years ago in the Singapore SEAG.
Trap secretary general Tom Carrasco said this year’s SuBIT will “be a preview of the SEA Games because all of them are here.”
Carrasco said that after the tournament, the top three athletes in both mens’ and women’s will be determined and will then undergo training program starting in June.
Huegas and Chicano just came from a three-week camp in Grand Canary Island in Spain last month and competed in the Capiz triathlon recently where they finished second and first, respectively.
Carrasco said the teams to beat are Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Slovenia, although the SEA countries are no push-overs.
He said the scorching weather forecast will be a factor favouring the Filipinos.
“These teams are very smart, they train hard and simulate all weather conditions,” said Carrasco referring to the heavy favourites. Korea, he said, trained in Saipan to get the hang of the hot Philippine summer.
“Weather will always be a factor, but we will have psychological edge over them because we train under this condition all year round,” said Huelgas.
Among the Filipinos seeing action here are Huelgas, Chicano, Mark Hosana, Emmanuel Comendador, Jonard Saim, Paul Jumamil, Edward Macalalad in men’s, SEAG silver medalist Kim Mangrobang, Adorna, Kim Kilgroe and Leyann Ramo.
Adorna and Hosana just came from Thailand training, while Mangrobang competed in Portugal. Macalalad trained in Arizona and Montreal prior to competing here.