KUALA LUMPUR: The quest for gold in triathlon kicks off as reigning Southeast Asian Games champions Nikko Huelgas and Ma. Claire Adorna shift their campaign to a higher gear Monday at the Water Sports Complex in nearby Putrajaya City.
Huelgas and Adorna are heavily favored to deliver a pair of mints following remarkable performances in the World Cup, Asian Championships and Subic International competitions.
And with Kim Mangrobang and John Chicano competing with them, coach Rick
Reyes expects the national triathletes to come up with a 1-2 finish in the men’s and women’s divisions.
“We don’t see anybody threatening us,” Reyes said.
Reyes based his expectation on their previous performance in elite tournaments.
Mangrobang placed 19th in the Tiszaujvaros ITU (International Triathlon Union) Triathlon World Cup in Hungary last June 22.
She also trained under noted Portuguese coach Sergio Santos in Rio Major, Portugal last May.
Adorna, on the other hand, also had a one-month training in Phuket, Thailand together with coach Melvin Fausto as part of her preparation for the SEA Games.
“By natural ability Claire is favored but for physical abilities Kim has the edge and she is hungry,” said Rachelle Dumuk, an ITU Level 3 technical official and Philippine Sports Commission-PH Secretariat member.
“Huelgas is a seasoned veteran international campaigner, but Chicano is determined to win also.”