Pinoys nab Ironman 70.3 world championship slots
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – Filipino triathletes Banjo Norte and Alexandra Ganzon earned slots in the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France after ruling their divisions in the 2018 Asia-Pacific race on Sunday, August 5 in Mactan, Cebu.
Norte clocked 4 hours, 24 minutes and 34 seconds to defend his Asian elite title in the men's pro race of the 2018 Ironman 70.3 here.
The Cagayan de Oro native went neck-and-neck against compatriot Paul Jumamil and finally overtook him in the last loop of the bike stage.
"From the start, we got on the bike at the same time but he (Jumamil) had a 20-second gap because he got out ahead of me. I tried to maintain the gap so I wouldn't be left behind that much. I started to catch up to him in the second loop, (then I broke away in the last loop)," said Norte in Visayan.
Raymund Torio finished a distant second with a 4:30:42 clocking, while Leonard Rondina placed 3rd with a time of 4:31:04.
Ganzon, who's racing in her 3rd 113-km race in two years, also reached a personal milestone as the top Filipina 70.3 athlete after checking in with a time of 5:04.52.
"Sabi ko nga sa coach ko, gusto ko maging top Filpina elite. Na-acheive ko yun. Ngayon lang ako naging top Filipina," said Ganzon, the Iloilo City native who also joined Subic's inaugural full Ironman last June.
(I told my coach that I want to be the top Filipina elite. I acheived that now. I just became the top Filipina today.)
Future of PH Ironman
Veteran national team member August Benedicto, meanwhile, hopes to see more of the youth get into the sport and try to beat the records he had set.
"Masaya ako na ako unang-una tinitignan nila, na tinatarget talaga ang veterans, so ang kagandahan lang, nahahatak ko sila na mas mabilis na yung time," said Benedicto.
(I'm glad that young athletes watch me, then they really target the veterans' records, so the good thing about it is that I motivate them to aim for faster times.)
This was exactly what happened in the men's Asian elite race where the 24-year-old Norte took the top spot once again as Benedicto settled for 5th (4:34:43).
"Target nila ako tapos na next na susunod pa, target na nila yung pros, so palapit ng palapit yung time. Yun yung nakikita ko para sa mga bata ngayon," added the 34-year-old.
(After they target me, they have to target the pros until their times get closer and closer. That's what I see with the young racers now.)
Ganzon, meanwhile, hopes there will be more pros in the women's category since her lone local competitor Maria Hodges is based in the US.
"Masaya yung Ironman kasi challenging, hindi mo alam kung ano mangyayari sa iyo. Kukundisyon ka sa swim or bike, hindi mo alam sa run," said Ganzon.
(The Ironman is fun because it's challenging, you never know what will happen. You may be conditioned in the swim or bike legs, then you'll never know what will happen in the run.) – Rappler.com
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