Filipina diathlete passes US Naval Academy
Fornea during a competition in the United States, and with Standard Insurance Group chairman Judes Echauz.

Filipina diathlete passes US Naval Academy

Abac Cordero (Philstar.com) - June 15, 2020 - 9:00pm

MANILA, Philippines – Mary Pauline Fornea, a bronze medalist in mixed relay duathlon in last year’s Southeast Asian Games, has found a better reason to celebrate.

The 26-year-old Filipina, into sports since she was nine, recently graduated with honors at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Maryland.

Fornea, who finished a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Robotics and Controls, is eager to serve the Philippine Navy.

She is not closing the doors on the Philippine team.

“I’m so happy right now. My dream is to serve our country,” said Fornea, a decorated swimmer and graduate of the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Fornea joined the Philippine team upon graduation but had to give up her spot when she entered the Philippine Military Academy in 2015. But she was called in to be part of the team for the 30th SEA Games.

The native of Davao City teamed up with Monica Torres, Doy Commendador and Efrain Inigo. The team backed by Standard Insurance chairman Judes Echauz won the bronze in mixed relay in Subic.

Torres bagged the gold in women’s individual event.

Fornea said it was Gen. Joseph Cuison of the Philippine Marines, whom she considers her second father, who encouraged her to join the PMA, which served as her ticket to the USNA.

She left for the US in the middle of her PMA cadet summer training in 2016.

While in the US, Fornea joined duathlon races as she geared up for the SEA Games, even qualifying to the World Duathlon Championships in the Netherlands in September. She landed in the top 10 percent of the US Traithlon/Duathlon national rankings in 2019. 
Fornea is undergoing officers training at the Philippine Naval Academy in Iba, Zambales. She is now a key member of the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance cycling team.

Fornea is looking forward to a lot of things.

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