SEA Games 2023: French athlete stands in way of Mangrobang ‘three-peat’ bid | Inquirer Sports
TRIATHLON

SEA Games 2023: French athlete stands in way of Mangrobang ‘three-peat’ bid

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:15 AM May 03, 2023

FILE–Filipino  triathlete Kim Mangrobang. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Kim Mangrobang smiles after winning the gold in 2019. —GRIG MONTEGRANDE

Kim Mangrobang will find her bid to retain the women’s triathlon title at the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on shaky ground.

The three-time SEA Games champion faces her biggest threat yet in the Games when she battles Cambodia’s Margot Garabedian, a naturalized player from France. Mangrobang is defending the title she won first in 2017 in Malaysia.

“She’s (Garabedian) capable of winning gold in triathlon as well as in aquathlon,’’ Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco told the Inquirer.

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Garabedian already made her first appearance for Cambodia as a naturalized triathlete at the Melilla European Cup last month.

The 27-year-old Garabedian also raced under the International Triathlon Union and garnered high points, including a victory at the African Cup in Dakhla.

Mangrobang ruled the women’s swim-bike-run event for the third consecutive time last year in the Hanoi SEA Games and also took home the individual duathlon standard race.

“We are hoping to repeat our dominance, but we expect stiffer competition from all,’’ said Carrasco.

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Currently sitting at 190th in the world triathlon rankings, Garabedian is looking to secure a spot in the World Cup that would earn her a possible Olympic qualification while suiting up for Cambodia.

Garabedian placed seventh at the World Junior Championships in 2014, making her one of the best among French youngsters then.

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Cambodia is eyeing not only a spot in the women’s triathlon podium as it also acquired the services of French duathlete Mickael Chaumond for the run-bike-run sprint.

“I’m still confident, we’re targeting three [gold]medals, four if we are lucky,’’ said Carrasco.

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Inquirer’s special coverage of the Cambodia SEA Games 2023.

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