It was a fruitful weekend for the PHI Triathlon Team at the recently concluded 2016 Singapore International Triathlon held at the East Coast Park grounds of the island City on Saturday, July 16..
Our Lauren Plaza was nipped at the the tape by Singapore’s Emma Middleditch, who came from behind after spotting Plaza a 10 second gap at Transition 2, in a brave surge at the finish for 1st place in the Girl’s Super Sprint. Both had identical times of 25:33 and the final results had to be reviewed by the Jury. Lauren’s inexperience showed when she kept looking back at the oncoming Singaporean, losing precious time.
Interestingly, the youngest member of the Team, Jana Macalalad finished 3rd in 25:55 and actually led at T2 but was caught bu Lauren and Emma.
The other Filipina in the race, Nicole Eijansantos, unfortunately paid for a recurring knee injury and limped to the finish in a determined 5th at 27:48. Emma came up to Nicole at the finish as the Filipina was receiving treatment and profusely thanked her for help on the bike leg in the 200m-6k-2k swim-bike-run race conducted under ITU elite conditions, although gearing and equipment restrictions were observed.
Juan Baniqued came in 2nd in 23:33 also after leading at T2 to a taller and more mature Malaysian Russel Liew (23:15) in the Boy’s Super Sprint. Xian Chong of the host country was 3rd in 23;41. The other Filipinos followed closely behind with JB Sarmiento, Luigi Crisostomo, Josh Averion coming in at 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. Josh Ramos, another PHI athlete, had the 5th best time but was belatedly disqualified for using an illegal wheel which was cleared at the initial bike check. The PHI Team decided against filing a protest in the spirit of sportsmanship.
The PHI Juniors also participated in the 750m-18k-5k Sprint won by world class Matthew Hauser of Australia in 53:37. He was followed by Dan Hoy of NZL in 53;58 and Aussie Kye Wilde in 55:43. Best Filipino finisher was Justin Chiongbian at 9th with a time of 1:01:34 followed closely by Julius Constantino (10th, 1:01:43), Kim Remolino (12th, 1:03:10), Yuan Chiongbian (15th, 1:04:28), Caleb Barlin (19th, 1:05:37) and Tonito Alejo (20th, 1:06:37).
Our lone female Junior Sibayan finished in 8th with a 1:23:02. The Australian female juniors swept the Top 3 places. The AUS Team was using this race as preparation for the 2016 World Championships in Mexico later this year.
The following day, July 17, 2 other PHI triathletes stamped their class in the Age Group races. Neil Ayerna, a varsity swimmer at UP Diliman, came in 1st in the 18-24 AG and 2nd Over-All in the Standard Distance race and Jethro Ramos, father of Joshua, came 1st Over-All in the AG Sprint.
Tomas Carrasco Jr., POC Chairman and TRAP President, was happy withe results of the trip. He remarked: “This race like our Subic International Triathlon organized a youth race under Elite rules and we did very well. We are using this trip to prepare our 2018 Youth Olympic Games aspirants. We will go home happy for the medals but more importantly we will evaluate the races so we can improve the athletes’ performances. We have scheduled training camps, here and abroad, and a series of races to further hone the triathletes and even perhaps widen the search for the best athletes we can send to the YOG. We are also looking for a foreign consultant who can augment training for the Team. I can say we are on the right track but a lot of work still needs to be done.”
Image1 Caption: Youth Team Huddle before the big race
Image 2 Caption: PHI Juniors (l-r)- Coach Anthony Lozada, Julius Coanstantino, Kim Remolino, Coach Rick Reyes, Una Sibayan, Tonito ALejo, Caleb Barlin
Image 3 Caption: Super Sprint winners (l-r) Wacky Baniqued, Lauren Plaza- Silvers; Russel Liew (MAS), Emma Middleditch (SIN)- Golds; Jana Macalalad, Xian Chong (SIN)- Bronzes
Image 4 Caption: PHI Team: Standing (l-r)- Yuan & Justin Chiongbian, Anthony Lozada, Julius Constantino, Rick Reyes, Kevin Eijansantos, Luigi Crisostomo, Josh Averion, Wacky Baniqued, Caleb Barlin, Tonito Alejo. Kneeling (l-r)- Una Sibayan, Lauren Plaza, Nicole Eijansantos, Jana macalalad, Kim Remolino, JB Sarmiento, and Joshua Ramos