MANILA, Philippines - Nikko Huelgas and Kim Mangrobang justified their spots in the Incheon Asian Games-bound Phl team after topping yesterday’s sprint distance of triathlon of the Philippine National Games at the Ayala-Alabang Village grounds yesterday.
Huelgas, 22, broke loose from Alaska Tri Team’s Banjo Norte in the first 500 meters of the running part after the two stuck together in the swim and bike and was never threatened from there to capture the gold medal in the male 20-and-over division in an hour, 20 minutes, 25 seconds.
Norte finished second in 1:21:26 and Deo Timbol third in 1:27:32.
More impressive was the 22-year-old Mangrobang, who dominated the women’s class in 1:36:54, or a whopping 13 minutes faster than General Santos’ Noemi Andrea Galeos, who checked in at second in 1:49:27.
Bic Ferreria settled for the bronze in 1:50:49.
It was the third gold in the last four stagings for Huelgas, a Guangzhou Asian Games veteran, that more than made up for his disappointment last year when he ended up with just a bronze after busting his tire, allowing the gold to slip away.
Mangrobang topped her division for the third straight year now and should justify her inclusion in the national team plunging into action in the Asiad in Incheon, South Korea.
John Chicano, last year’s gold medal winner here, and Claire Adorna will join Huelgas and Mangrobang in Incheon even though they missed this year’s meet with the former reporting sick and the latter training in Portugal.
Edward Jared Macalalad and Mariah Villegas Garcia reigned supreme in the juniors side while duathlon, an event making its first appearance in the PNG, produced winners in James Allado (16-19 years old), Robeno Javier (male 20 years old and above) and Nancy Papaya (female 20 and above).
In taekwondo, Colleen Heria of Baguio San Beda’s Abram Lance Cuvinar, Joaquin Mendoza of Santo Tomas and Charizza Alombro of University of the Philippines sent shockwaves by snatching golds in their events where members of the national training pool were entered.
National pool members Gabrielle Hernandez, Francesca Arianne Agojo, Aaron James Galita, Gian Francis Rubio, Arianne Helouise Asegurado, Clouie Bolinas, Arven Alcantara and Nicole Zapata restored order by winning the events they’re expected to rule.
Baguio struck the hardest in the sport as Leslie Marie Agyamoc, Brighty Rio Salazar, Monsour Carlo Salazar, Tristan Dale Cayago, Joanne Esquerra and Ma. Kaye Shannelle Romuar delivered the mints for the mountaintop city jins.
Other taekwondo winners were San Sebastian’s Marguerrite Luteria and Harris Zapata, Cebu’s Veronica Garces, Baguio’s Keyya Arizza David, Tuguegarao’s Angie Dayag, Arellano’s Eric Miguel Padilla and Wasber Rasad, and Diliman Preparatory School’s Jerome de Guzman;
San Sebastian’s Robert Santiago, University of the East’s John Michael Agno and Ysabel Mercado, San Beda’s Keybert Lee Lumbania, Jason Locsin, Daniel Perez and Meryll Mercado, Ateneo’s Irene Bermejo and Joel Alejandro, Far Eastern U’s Fila Saberon.
In three-on-three basketball, San Juan’s Joshua Montero, King Astrero, Yan de Guzman and Jayson Danas copped the male gold while QCPU B’s Nelia Cabiles, Angelica Arcega, Clarissa Pascual and Cherry Linda Corpuz snared the girls gold.