MANILA, Philippines—Fernando Jose Casares, Filipino Hispanic, paints a vivid picture in his mind of how his race in New Clark City will end.
What the Southeast Asian Games triathlon champion envisioned hasn’t strayed from reality on Sunday after winning the men’s elite sprint of the Triathlon Championship. National 2022 organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines.
“I’ve been picturing this race for the past week, I’ve even dreamed of it. But I don’t expect 100% that I will win,” said Casares after finishing first in the 5km run, 20km bike race, 2.5km run at high speed.
John Leerams Chicano, SEA Games 2019 triathlon gold medalist, really delivered a thrilling contest before Casares, 26, beat him at the line in 58 minutes and three seconds.
Chicano edged Casares by six seconds while Maynard Pecson took bronze (58:13) before SEA Games silver medalists Kim Remolino (58:29) and Raymund Torio (58:31) arrived to complete the place. the national team’s top five finished.
With the race serving as the pre-qualifier of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia on 5-17 May next year, Casares is aiming for a chance to win the golden double in a bid to defend his triathlon title. as well as participate in the content of the biathlon.
“My plan is to win not one but two gold medals in the triathlon and the triathlon. I feel confident especially after this race,” said Casares, whose best time in the biathlon sprint was 55 minutes.
“My time could qualify for a gold medal. I still have a long way to go, but I will get there,” he added.
Casares, whose mother Marietta Ramos of Valenzuela City settled in Madrid before he was born, will face strong opposition from defending SEAG champion Pham Tien San of Vietnam and Rudi Febriade of Indonesia.
“I know there will be a few strong people in Cambodia like Pham, who won the SEA Games first. I need to beat him, I need to be faster on both runs,” said Casares.
Raven Faith Alcoseba dominated the women’s elite sprint in one hour, six minutes and 32 seconds, beating Louisa Middleditch of Singapore (1:07:10) and Merry Joy Trupa (1:08:50) in the event is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, HOKA, Filinvest New Clark City, Standard Insurance, Asian Center for Insulation Philippines, Fissan and Fitbar are the main sponsors.
Three-time SEA Games triathlon champion Kim Mangrobang, also the current champion in the SEAG women’s triathlon, skipped a race with a total of 103 participating teams, including foreign teams. from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States..
“In Cambodia (SEA Games), all events are sprints, which is why our elite athletes focus on sprints,” said TRAP president Tom Carrasco. . “Out of seven events, we’ll aim for at least four (gold medals).”
Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh will host the SEA Games with two events each (individuals for men and women) in triathlons and triathlons and three events in water triathlons.
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