Filipinos out to deliver duathlon gold medals
With triathlon a consistent source of gold medals for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games, duathletes are making sure they won’t be left behind.
Monica Torres and Emmanuel Commendador led the Standard Insurance national duathlon team in asserting its mastery over the finest duathletes in Southeast Asia during the recent Singapore Duathlon National Championships.
Torres, the fastest local female in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 race six years in a row, topped the women’s division of the 10-kilometer run, 40K bike and 5K run event while Commendador, a prized find from Bohol, ruled the men’s category.
Top-caliber performer Joey delos Reyes placed second in a narrow defeat and Robeno Javier, the country’s best male duathlete, finished third overall.
Veteran campaigners John Topia and Jarwyn Banatao wound up fourth and fifth as the Philippines practically dominated the men’s division.
“We are confident that our duathlon team can win in the SEA Games in the same way our triathletes have delivered in the past two editions of the Games,” said sailing chief and duathlon godfather Ernesto “Judes” Echauz, group chair of Standard Insurance.
According to Echauz, the Philippine duathlon squad will go through a series of high-intensity workouts under national coaches Melvin Fausto and Bernie Llantada.
Forming a formidable combo with Torres is Pauline Fornea, who led the US Naval Academy’s triathlon squad in numerous successful races overseas.
“We still have to familiarize ourselves with the route as we train our athletes to win those gold medals in the SEA Games,” said Fausto.
Duathlon, which will be held at Subic Freeport during the Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 Games, is making a comeback in the SEA Games after the discipline last saw action in 2007 in Thailand where the Philippines’ Ryan Mendoza won.
The Philippines placed 1-2 in men’s (Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano) and women’s (Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna) triathlon in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.
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