Triathletes tipped to deliver first gold
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2019 - 12:00am

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

MARY JOY TABAL
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