No Nikko Huelgas ‘three-peat’ in SEA Games triathlon
Nikko Huelgas won’t see a third men’s triathlon title in the Southeast Asian Games this year after missing a spot in the Philippines roster for the individual event and losing his chance for a hat trick.
Taking over his slot is Cebuano premier triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino, who will join John Chicano in defending the country’s 1-2 finish during the 2017 edition of the Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“There were qualifying events and we chose the best two performers in those qualifiers to do the men’s individual race in the SEA Games,” said Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco.
Remolino, the pride of Talisay City, Cebu, sealed his seat in the SEAG after becoming the first Filipino elite to cross the finish line in the 2019 Gyeongju ASTC Asian Triathlon Championships two months ago.
A member of the Talisay Luigi Triathlon Group-Go For Gold, the 19-year-old Remolino initially got the top ranking after he became the first Filipino elite to finish the Subic Bay International Triathlon last April, the first qualifier for the SEAG.
Huelgas fell into a series of lackluster performances beginning with his 16th place finish in the Asian Games last year in Indonesia. He also suffered a fractured left hand from a bike accident that sidelined him early this year.
After topping the Tri-Factor Indonesia standard distance and finishing seventh in the IPP Group Challenge in Vietnam last month, Huelgas ruled the Asian Elite category of the recent Ironman 70.3 in Cebu.
Huelgas will still don the national colors in the SEAG on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 as part of the mixed team relay with Chicano and Fer Casares.
Reigning SEAG women’s champion Kim Mangrobang made it to the women’s individual team along with Kim Kilgroe. They will join 2015 SEAG titleholder Claire Adorna in the mixed team relay.