Mangrobang armed and ready to fulfill Olympic dream | Inquirer Sports
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Mangrobang armed and ready to fulfill Olympic dream

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:02 AM April 23, 2021

Reigning Southeast Asian champion Kim Mangrobang hopes her two-month training in Portugal will nudge her into the Tokyo Olympics.—GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Kim Mangrobang trained extensively in a high-performance facility in Portugal over the past two months exactly to give it her best shot in a series of Olympic qualification races.

The two-time Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) champion will race in the Asia Triathlon Championship in Hatsukaichi, Japan, on Saturday, the first in a string of tournaments that could propel her to the coming Tokyo Olympics.

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The 29-year-old Mangrobang was entered in the women’s elite of the 1.5kilometer swim-40km bike-10km run contest against the finest in the continent such as Japan’s Ai Ueda and Yuka Sato, and Zhong Mengying of China.

“I hope that Kim lands in the top 5-6. Her training [in Portugal] was really intense and she prepared well for the Olympic qualifying races,’’ said Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco.

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With four to five races on her schedule, Mangrobang should penetrate the top 55 list of qualifiers prior to the Olympic cutoff in June.

Though Mangrobang is at No. 192 in the Olympic rankings, a maximum of only three triathletes per country will be allowed to suit up at the starting line in Tokyo. Some countries have five to 10 triathletes in the top 100 of the women’s elite.

“Kim’s performances in the qualifying races would weigh a lot. She’s healthy and I’m quite optimistic of her chances,’’ said Carrasco.

Mangrobang trained under the tutelage of renowned Portuguese coach Sergio Santos at the famed Desmor Sports Center in Rio Maior with other Olympic aspirants from Brazil and Norway. She will return immediately to Portugal after the Asian champs.

Chasing her Olympic dream, Mangrobang will participate in the World Triathlon Cup in Lisbon on May 22-23, Arzachena World Cup in Italy on May 29-30, ITU World Cup in Huatulco, Mexico, on June 12-13 and try her luck in qualifying races in Northern Africa and Southern Europe as well.

Andrew Kim Remolino and Filipino-Spanish Fer Casares will see action in the men’s elite of the Asian champs on Saturday and are scheduled to race in Yokohama and Gamagori, Japan, in June.

SEA Games men’s elite champion John Chicano and SEAG women’s silver medalist Kimberly Kilgroe have skipped the qualification meets, according to Carrasco.

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TAGS: Kim Mangrobang, Triathlon
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