Huelgas opens SEAG preparations on a high note
Nikko Huelgas of Team Go For Gold Philippines doesn’t want to play it safe when the champion triathlete begins his buildup for the Southeast Asian Games in Manila next year.
The reigning two-time SEA Games gold medalist got his preparation for a third straight gold medal going after recently winning in the 2018 National Age Group Triathlon in Naga, Cebu.
Huelgas completed the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40k bike and 10k run in two hours, two minutes and four seconds to rule the men’s elite division and beat Go For Gold teammate Andrew Kim Remolino and Jorry Ycong of Rider Omega Tri team by three minutes.
“I really had a bad season and so far this was the best performance that I had compared to my previous races,” said Huelgas.
“All countries are improving and I just hope I don’t suffer any injuries going into the SEA Games,” added Huelgas.
As part of his preparation, Huelgas is in for a more punishing race next year in the Ironman 70.3 in Vietnam in May, something that can toughen up the Athletes Commission head prior to defending his SEAG title.
“It’s much tougher than the Olympic distance. It could affect my performance, but I see the half-ironman as a bigger challenge that could help me grow as a triathlete,” said Huelgas.
He will defend his title before a highly supportive Filipino crowd in Subic during the 30th SEA Games to be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“I will not be complacent because I don’t want to disappoint our countrymen,” said Huelgas.
In the women’s standard distance race, Ma. Claire Adorna lived up to her billing as the country’s top bet after finishing the course in 2:29:31.
Adorna was the SEAG women’s champion in 2015 Singapore.
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