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Wait well worth it for Farr, Belgira

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 04:03 AM December 03, 2019

MTB downhill gold medalists John Derrick Farr and Lea Belgira holding up their SEA Games medals. Photo by Cedelf Tupas

LAUREL, BATANGAS—Lea Belgira could have been enjoying the perks of working on a cruise ship, traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures.

Instead, she chose a different path after graduating from college three years ago, showing single-mindedness and determination to succeed in the sport she loves.

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That decision—and all those long hours competing and training—finally paid off on Monday when the pint-sized rider captured the gold in the women’s downhill mountain bike event of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games at Three Skulls trail here.

On a windy day in the mountains, the 23-year-old Belgira bested a stellar field that included Asian Games champion Tiara Prastika of Indonesia by unleashing her best run in the finals, clocking 3 minutes, 9.781 seconds.

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“I think this is what happens when you really love what you’re doing,” said Belgira, who shaved almost 11 seconds from her personal best in training on the course.

“You do everything you can to succeed. This win validates my decision to pursue what I love and what I’m passionate about,” added Belgira.

Almost an hour after Belgira’s golden feat, John Derrick Farr completed the double for the Philippines by ruling the men’s downhill event.

An emotional Farr found out he had the best clocking from his father and coach, Frederick Farr, who was teary-eyed as he hugged his son, now a SEA Games champion.

“He waited for five years for this,” said the older Farr, referring to his 23-year-old son.

“The excitement and eagerness to compete has always been there,” said John Derrick, who hails from Las Piñas. INQ

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TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Lea Belgira
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