Troubled start ends in glory for cyclist Prado
TAGAYTAY – A nightmarish start ended in a blaze of glory for Filipino bet Jermyn Prado.
Nearly disqualified for using a bike specifically used for triathlon races, Prado shook off distractions to reign supreme in the women’s Individual Time Trial of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that started in Nasugbu, Batangas and ended in the Prayer Hands Monument last Thursday.
The 26-year-old Prado, a single mother to eight-year-old Princess Jaydee, saw her warmup time shortened to just 10 minutes as team officials removed a couple of contraptions before she was allowed to use her bike.
“At first, I thought this wasn’t the SEA Games debut that I imagined,” said the former welder from Pagbilao, Quezon, who was already in tears minutes before she was flagged off.
“But I think God had a way to make things happen for me,” added Prado, who will also compete in the road race on Friday.
Pedaling at a pace of nearly 31 kph, Prado found her bearings at the 10 kilometer mark approaching Tagaytay and finished the 23.1-kilometer course in 44 minutes, 44.742 seconds.
Then came the agonizing wait as 10 other riders, including 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Marella Salamat, tried to beat her time.
“It was really tough because I didn’t have enough warmup time because of the problems with my bike,” said Prado.
Prado said Philippine team officials thought using the triathlon bike which had contraptions that had aerodynamic effects were legal as they had seen in races overseas.
Another option for the Filipino bets was to use a road bike without the aerobars.
Competition manager Lorenzo Lomibao said the panel of commissaries allowed the Filipino riders to use their bikes provided they remove at least two contraptions.
“According to the panel, it is an advantage because it will create an aerodynamic effect on the bikes so they just removed contraptions below the handle bars and under the frame,” Lomibao explained.
Yiwei Lou of Singapore clocked 44:48.518 for the silver, followed by Phetdarin Somrat of Thailand for the bronze (44:58.152). Salamat finished seventh, checking in at 45:59.275.
Indonesia’s Aiman Cahyadi topped the men’s race in 58:37.003 with Thailand’s Thanakhan Chaiyasombat taking the silver in 59:20.535. Ronald Oranza missed out on the bronze as he finished fourth with a clocking of 1 hour, 48.4 seconds.
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