Patillan, Chiongbian tough rivals for YOG
MANILA, Philippines - If the results are to be the basis, it will be a toss-up between Olongapo bet Jimuel Patillan and Cebu native Justin Liam Chiongbian for the right to represent the country in the men’s Youth Olympic Games qualifier next year.
The second local YOG qualifying race was held yesterday side by side with the opening leg of the 2013 National Age Group Triathlon Series at the Dungaree Beach in Subic, with the 15-year old Patillan summoning all his energy in the last 200 meters to edge a determined Chiongbian.
“I was not expecting a tight race. I was really hoping to leave my rivals in the run leg but it did not happen. I will have to train harder if I want to represent the country in the YOG qualifier,” said the national pool member Patillan.Organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) in cooperation with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) tourism department, the race was staged at a new distance of 500m swim, 20K bike and 2.5K run with Patillan negotiating the distance in 55 minutes, 12.32 seconds.
Chiongbian, who settled for third place in the Batang Pinoy national finals last December in Iloilo behind Patillan and gold medal winner Sixto Louie Lalanto, fell short by two steps at 55:12.79 while Mandaluyong City bet Samuel Ranque took third in 55:37.00.
Patillan was ahead after the swim and bike leg but Chiongbian and Ranque stuck like a leech, sending the race also supported by Gatorade, Fitness First, David’s Salon, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Inc. and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to an exciting finish.
Ranque gave up in the final kilometer, leaving the two triathletes clashing for the title while Patillan had enough muscle to pull it through.
Twelve triathletes aged 15 and 16 years old saw action in this category with Magali Bernasconi Echauz stamping her class anew in the women’s in 1:01.25. A far second was local bet Victoria Deldio at 1:02.22 while Laguna’s Jessica Salazar took third in 1:08.05 time.
“This is my second win after topping the Batang Pinoy but I still have to finish strong in the other qualifying races. My goal is really to compete in the YOG qualifier and hopefully make it in the YOG proper in Nanjing, China and I have to get better in the next races,” said Echauz, 15.
The third YOG qualifying race will be at the STK Muti-Sports Festival in Ayala Alabang this April. A total of 236 triathletes saw action with most of them competing in the NAGT’s sprint distance.
Champions in the men’s division were Randolf Ferariza (17-19), Mervin Rencel Santiago (20-24), Raymund Velasco (25-29), Jexter Gutierrez Punzalan (30-34), Ferdinand Catabian II (35-39), Lee McMeekin (40-44), Michael Bond (45-49), Rune Stroem (50-54), while Erika Joy Natividad (17-24), Jenny Rose Guerrero (25-29), Joyette Jopson (30-34), Amanda Carpo (35-39) and Monica Altura (40-44) lorded the women’s side.
Dejan Glavnik and Aileen Breen topped the 20-and-above divisions while Mark Gregory Pile and Lucia Mariel Felix Alvarez dominated the 16-19 brackets. Josh Ryan Sin and Every Janarie Plaza (9-10), Fernando Diaz and Lauren Justine Plaza (11-12) and Maria Margarit Delos Reyes (13-14) ruled the aquathlon side event.