Cordilleran triathletes representing the Philippines proved their mettle in the lung-busting 2023 Asia Triathlon U23/Junior Championships in Japan and the Powerman Malaysia 2023 Duathlon in Malaysia this month.
Maynard Pecson of Baguio clinched a bronze medal in the Powerman Malaysia held in Putrajaya on June 18 finishing in two hours, 49 minutes, and 17 seconds.
Pecson, also a product of the Baguio-Benguet Triathlon Team, has proven he can be at par with the world’s best in the elite category, who was only nine minutes behind champion Malo Moysan, a French grand Prix and Spain Open Duathlon titlist who finished in 2:40:45.
Fellow Filipino and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist John Chicano took the second place when he went head-to-head with Moysan in the first run of the race but the latter gained a four-minute lead in the bike leg.
The national squad won a total of two gold medals, four silver medals and a bronze medal during the world’s biggest duathlon race.
Meanwhile, the national squad continued its strong performance in the Asia Triathlon U23/Junior Championships on June 24 to 25 at Gamagori, Japan with five triathletes finishing in the top 10.
Cambodia SEA Games bronze medalist Andrew Kim Remolino ranked seventh in the U23 men with a time of 59:27 while 2021 SEAG bronze winner Raven Faith Alcoseba placed ninth in the U23 Women at 1:06:02.
Matthew Hermosa was seventh in the junior men, while Kira Ellis and Samantha Corpuz landed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the junior women category.
Also, in 11th place was Gene Heart Quiambao in the junior women.
Baguio City’s triathletes Joshua Ramos was on 26th and Juan Francsico Baniqued was 34th in the grueling U23 men while Joshua’s younger brother, Dayshaun, finished 19th in the junior men’s race.
Teammate Iñaki Lorbes was 28th place while Erika Burgos was 22nd in the U23 Women.
The U23 and Junior races all had 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and five-km. run courses.
The national squad, backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, was accompanied by coaches Ani de Leon-Brown, Lou Ann Ramos, and Roland Remolino, director Sarita Zafra, and Triathlon Association of the Philippines secretary general Ramon Marchan during the race. – Ofelia C. Empian