Casares dominates Subic field
The battle-sharpened Fernando Jose Casares demolished the 2023 National Age-Group triathlon’s elite sprint field, showing his capability to defend his Southeast Asian (SEA) Games title even after Cambodia organizers for the May showcase decided to shorten what usually is a grueling battle for the gold medal.
Casares crossed the finish at Subic boardwalk in 57 minutes and 16 seconds for the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-km run race with Cebu’s Matthew Justine Hermosa (57:34) checking in a surprise second over SEA Games silver winner Andrew Kim Remolino (59:12).
“We’re getting ready for the SEA Games. And yes, defending my title will be a priority,’’ said the Filipino-Spanish Casares, who also ruled the men’s sprint race in the national duathlon championships last month.
Unlike the SEA Games triathlon races in the past which Team Philippines has been dominating since the 2015 edition in Singapore, Cambodia has decided to shorten the standard races to sprints.
And apart from the two events in triathlon and duathlon (men’s and women’s individual races), the host country of the May 5-17 meet added a new variety in aquathlon with three gold medals at stake in the men’s, women’s and mixed team relay.
Raven Faith Alcoseba, who topped women’s side of the duathlon national champs, was unchallenged from start to finish in winning the women’s elite sprint in one hour, four minutes and 36 seconds.
Fellow national squad triathlete Erika Nicole Burgos made it in 1:08.03 and Karen Manayon of the national developmental pool checked in third, 1:08.25. Three-time SEA Games women’s triathlon champion Kim Mangrobang skipped the race.
Assured of spots in the SEA Games are Casares and Remolino in the men’s elite sprint and Mangrobang in the women’s race along with Alcoseba. John Chicano, the 2019 SEA Games champion, will race in the men’s duathlon. INQ
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