Triathlete stalwarts Kim Remolino, Kim Kilgore, Kim Mangrobang and John Leerams Chicano
Triathletes tipped to deliver first SEA Games golds
Dante Navarro ( - November 22, 2019 - 6:01pm

MANILA, Philippines – Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal won’t get the chance to deliver the first Southeast Asian Games gold medal for Team Philippines the way she did the last time out in Kuala Lumpur, but new local endurance racing star Kim Remolino is tipped to take the honor when the men’s triathlon gold is disputed at the break of dawn on December 1 in Subic Bay.

Remolino, who dominated the pre-SEAG qualifiers and took over the spot of back-to-back SEAG titlist but absentee Nikko Huelgas, and reigning silver medalist John Leerams Chicano set out to duplicate the Philippines' 1-2 finish in Malaysia with another pair of strong performances in the 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run event.

The first SEAG gold is expected to be won by 8:20 a.m. on December 1 with the second tipped to be clinched hours later with Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgore also going flat out to match their 1-2 feat in the women’s side in the 2017 Games.

But a slew of other gold medals will be also up for grabs in the day where the Filipino athletes seek to get a big slice in an attempt to set the tone for the country’s drive for the coveted overall championship in the 12-day, 11-nation meet which offers a total of 530 gold medals in 56 sports and held in cluster venues, including 19 in Metro Manila.

Two years ago, Tabal produced the first gold in a SEAG stint that nearly didn’t materialize with Huelgas and Mangrobang accounting for the next two in a rather impressive start that the country had failed to sustain with floundering campaigns in other fronts before ending up sixth for the second straight time and third in the last four SEAG editions.

The Philippines had its worst SEAG finish in 2013 in Myanmar where it wound up seventh.

But hopes are high that the Filipinos would emerge on top for the second time like they did when they hosted the region’s premier event in 2005.

Meanwhile, while the first SEAG gold would only be awarded on December 1, hostilities in other fronts, however, kick off earnestly Sunday with action in Division A 4-6 goals of polo firing off at 1 p.m. at the Inigo Zobel and Miguel Romero Polo Facilities in Calatagan, Batangas.

The grand opening ceremony of the 30th staging of the region’s premier sporting meet won’t get started until November 30, the first time in SEAG history that the inaugurals will be held indoor at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan with the lighting of the controversial cauldron to be held in New Clark City in Tarlac, some 90 kms away.

Other gold medals at stake on December 1 are in dancesport (Breaking men/women, and Latin) at the Royce Hotel in Clark, Pampanga, floorball (women’s/men/s) at the UP Kinetics Gym in QC, gymnastics (individual all-around) at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, ice figure skating (seniors men and ladies) at SM Megamall, kurash (5 weight divisions) at the Laus Group Event Center in Pampanga, netball in Sta. Rosa Multi Sports Complex in Laguna, polo (4-6 Goals), weightlifting (women’s 45kg and men’s 55kg) at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, wushu (4 golds) at the World Trade Center with sepak takraw (men’s/women’s hoop event) the last gold to be offered in a busy day at Subic Bay gym.

The beach handball will be the last gold to be disputed at 11 a.m. on December 11 at Subic tennis court with the closing ceremonies slated in the afternoon at New Clark City.

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