Filipino duathletes eye podium sweep in SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines–Compared to the Philippine triathlon team, the national duathlon squad doesn’t enjoy the same popularity in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But don’t be surprised once Filipino women duathletes replicate what Filipino triathletes are highly expected of accomplishing.
Asian women’s elite champion Monica Torres, Northeast duathlon sprint winner Pawie Fornea and junior campaigner Chelsea Sabado of Standard Insurance are capable of sweeping the medal podium in the women’s side of the run-bike-run discipline during the Games.
“We are expecting a difficult race and we should be in top shape on the day itself,’’ said Torres, the reigning duathlon women’s titleholder in the continent and the fastest Filipina in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 for six years in a row.
Torres and Sabado checked in 1-2 in the women’s elite division to rule the recent Singapore 60 City Duathlon International.
They also performed similarly during the Everly Putrajaya Trifactor International Duathlon in Malaysia where the finest duathletes in Southeast Asia showed up.
Fornea, meanwhile, captured the Northeast Duathlon Sprint women’s title in Maryland, United States and prevailed in the Diamond Duathlon Sprint held in Lums State Park, Delaware where she qualified for the Team USA 2020 ITU Standard Duathlon World Championship.
“Our duathletes are prepared for the SEA Games after joining several international races this year. We are also making sure that they are in great condition during the race,’’ said duathlon patron and Standard Insurance chairman Ernesto “Judes’’ Echauz.
Scheduled Dec. 4-5 at the Subic Freeport Zone, duathlon is making a comeback in the SEA Games. Filipino duathlete Ryan Mendoza ruled the 2007 edition in Thailand, the last time the discipline was held.
Filipino triathletes are again a cinch to sweep both the men’s and women’s titles.
The Philippines finished 1-2 in 2017 Malaysia in the men’s category (Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano) and women’s division (Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna).