SEA Games: 1st gold for Philippines, as hosts deliver in triathlon

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2019 08:13 AM | Updated as of Dec 01 2019 02:44 PM

John Chicano celebrates finishing SEA Games men's triathlon in first place Sunday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Kim Remolino finishes in second to complete a gold-silver result for the Philippines in men's triathlon Sunday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Pinoys bag gold-silver in fantastic finish in Subic

SUBIC BAY (UPDATE)—Olongapo’s very own John Rambo Chicano and Cebu’s Kim Remolino finished 1-2 in Southeast Asian Games men’s triathlon, a strong start by the home team to the regional competition at Subic Bay Boardwalk Sunday.

Chicano, who settled for second to countryman Nikko Huelgas in 2017, clocked in at 1 hour, 53 minutes and 24 seconds, setting a new SEA Games record. 

Remolino timed 1:55:01.

Chicano’s finish shattered Huelgas' result (1:59.30) 2 years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

A former janitor before transitioning to elite triathlon, Chicano found it fitting to duplicate what he and Huelgas were able to accomplish in 2017. 

This time, however, he got the gold and Remolino took over his former spot as silver medalist.
 
“Nadefend natin ang gold and silver para sa bansa. Nararapat lang kasi todo ang suporta sa atin,” said Chicano.

“Para sa inyong lahat ito. Maraming salamat.”

Coach Melvin Fautino said Chicano’s accomplishment speaks volumes about the training his team had gone through.

“Hard work, training and full-time consistency ang pinag-uusapan natin. Ang hawak niya dati 1:56 tapos we’re aiming for 1:55 dito pero he did better. He got 1:53. Philippine and Southeast Asain record na ito,” he said.

Remolino, for his part, was also pleased with his accomplishment his his first try in SEA Games.

“Siyempre sobrang saya ko kahit kakagaling lang sa junior (level), nakapasok sa SEA Games, tapos naka-silver pa,” he said.

Chicano’s mother, Olive, couldn’t contain her emotion that she dashed to embrace her son upon seeing him cross the finish line.

“Hindi ko na napigilan ang sarili ko, natuwa talaga ako,” she said. “Pursigido talaga siya para sa win na ito.”

His father, Ramsey, acknowledged he never expected his son to become an athlete, more so an elite triathlete.

He said he just remembered Chicano riding his bike so fast as a kid.

“Nakikita ko ang potential niya, humahabol kasi siya sa akin na nakabike, namamasada kasi ako. Buti nga nakilala namin si coach,” said Ramsey.

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2019 SEA Games