IN PHOTOS: Gold and grit at SEA Games 2019 triathlon, duathlon

Marga Deona

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IN PHOTOS: Gold and grit at SEA Games 2019 triathlon, duathlon
Here are some snapshots from the triathlon and duathlon events of SEA Games' Subic cluster


SUBIC, Philippines – Multisport dominated the Subic cluster of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, with the Philippines winning its first gold medal in the triathlon event. The Philippine contingent completed a gold sweep for all triathlon events, securing 1-2 finishes in the individual categories. Duathlon secured a gold for the women’s individual, silver for the men’s individual, and bronze for the mixed relay.

Relive the winning moments of the victors, in photos.



From bike mechanic to gold medalist. The newly-minted golden boy of Philippine triathlon, John Leerams “Rambo” Chicano‘s road to the Games was a long and tough one. Once a mechanic at a bike shop, the young Chicano learned how to swim in his late teens and worked hard to become one of the country’s fastest multisport athletes.



Protege and mentor. Defending SEA Games triathlon champ Kim Mangrobang gets some last-minute tips from Sergio Santos, an Olympic triathlon coach. Mangrobang scored double golds in the SEA Games – for the individual category, and for mixed relay.



New kid on the block. The newest member of the Philippine triathlon team, Fernando Casares swam, ran, and biked his part of the mixed relay at a blistering pace. He did a 340 m swim, 6.6 km bike, and 1.8km run all in 21 minutes 41 seconds – the fastest split in the event.



Closing the gap. In this photo, 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Claire Adorna is halfway through the run loop of her lap during the mixed relay triathlon. Fresh off the bike, Singapore’s teenage prodigy Emma Middleditch kept chase. 


Future Olympian? At the men’s individual category, 19-year-old triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino was first out of the water. In an interview post-race, Remolino says he was glad to have kept pace with teammate Chicano. Team captain Nikko Huelgas cites Remolino’s performance as indicative of potential Olympic-level prowess, as long as he continues to train at peak level.



Squad goals. Completing a golden sweep across all events, the Philippine triathlon team jumps for joy.



Long distance: Races and relationships. Philippine triathlon team captain Nikko Huelgas talks to a friend via video call. Part and parcel of the life of a national athlete is to be away from friends and family most of the time. In some instances, video calls suffice but sometimes, it could get lonely.



Victory bow. The moment Thailand’s Arnhit Soda crossed the finish line first during the mixed relay duathlon, he got on his knees and profusely bowed, in customary Thai fashion. 



A cut above the rest. Pro athlete Monica Torres may have made the race look too easy as she won the gold by a wide lead in the duathlon female individual category. However, she later claimed that she was not feeling too well before the race. Still, Torres managed to pull it off – and what a lead ahead of the pack.



The future of Singapore multisport. With the exception of one, this Singapore squad is comprised of teenagers. Emma Middleditch, Nicholas Rachmadi, Ahmad Arif Ibrahim, and Herlene Yu won the silver medal in the mixed relay duathlon.



The debutante. Kim Kilgroe got into triathlon relatively late compared to her peers. She started out a weekend warrior in her early 20s, racing in age grouper categories. Eventually, she invested more time and commitment into the sport, moving on to pro level in 2016. In her first SEA Games, she won silver in the individual women’s category, and is gunning for an Olympics berth in the coming months.



From corridor to podium. In 2016, Nicholas Rachmadi of Singapore would run in his school’s corridor because the track oval was packed. Fast forward to 3 years later, and he’d qualify for his country’s SEA Games slot, crossing the finish line for a silver medal. –


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Marga Deona

Marga leads digital and product management for Rappler’s multimedia expansion. Sometimes, she writes about the intersection of technology, culture, and business, as well as the occasional sports and music features.