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PH rakes double 1-2 finish in SEA games triathlon

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SUBIC BAY, Zambales — Celebrations and greetings poured forth as the Philippines triathletes scored an impressive double 1-2 finish in the triathlon competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games here on Sunday.

John Leerams Chicano and Kim Mangrobang swept the men’s and women’s triathlon with Chicano winning the gold in 1:53.26 and Mangrobang ruling her event in two hours and two minutes.

Chicano, a silver medalist in the 2017 SEA Games, bested fellow Filipino athlete Andrew Kim Remolino who bagged the silver medal with a time of 1:55:03 and Indonesian Muhammad Ahlul Firman who settled for bronze with a time of 1:57:10.

Nikko Huelgas, the Philippines’ gold medalist in the last biennial meet, was not able to join this year’s SEA Games due to injury.

Mangrobang and teammate Kim Kilgroe also scored 1-2 finish in the women’s category. Kilgroe timed 2:05.02 for silver medal.

““Ito na ang simula ng next level ng triathlon sa Pilipinas (This is the start of the next level of triathlon in the Philippines),” said Chicano, whose pregnant wife was at the finish line cheering him on.

Remolino, a SEA Games newbie from Cebu, said: “It’s an accomplishment po talaga na makasabayan si kuya Rambo (It is indeed an accomplishment to go along with Kuya Rambo (Chicano).”

Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr. congratulated Chicano, a native of Olongapo City, and the rest of the Philippine triathlon team for sweeping the gold and silver medals.

“Congrats John Chicano, ikaw ang unang nagbigay ng ginto para sa Pilipinas sa SEA Games (Congratulation John Chicano, you are the first to give gold for the Philippines in the SEA Games). We are all proud of you! God Bless you and God Bless Olongapo,” Paulino said.