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16 May 2009

Yun leads China’s 1-2 finish in Subic triathlon (Women's)

China’s Yun Lu would forever remember the year 2009.

Competing for the first time in the Philippines, Lu out-sprinted teammate Zhang Yi to claim her inaugural title in Saturday’s 2009 ITU Subic Bay International Triathlon female elite which started at Dungeree Beach and finished at the Waterfront Road inside the former American Naval Base in Olongapo City.

A total of 13 triathletes saw action in the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP)-organized race, which is also sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union (ITU).

Lu proved to be the best conditioned triathlete in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-k bike and 10-k run race submitting the fastest time of two hours, 10 minutes and 34 seconds. She struck hard in the third of four loops in the run event to leave behind Yi, a Beijing Olympian and is China’s top ranked female triathlete.

Yi fell short by 23 seconds at 2:10:57 for the silver medal.

“This is my first win after six years in triathlon and it came in my first race this year and I’m very happy with my performance," said Lu, ranked third in China, thru an interpreter.

She admitted to have struggled especially in the bike course as she and Yi wound up fourth and fifth into the second transition behind Japan’s Hideko Kikuchi, Australia’s Michelle Wu and the country’s top bet Lea Coline Langit.

All three ladies however faltered in the run event with Langit suffering the most as she had bouts with stomach cramps that slowed her down.

“I was well within my game plan since I went along well with my rivals in the swim and bike. But stomach cramps started affecting me in the first loop and I had to walk-run in the next loops," said a dejected Langit who settled for fifth place (2:20:13).

Langit’s mark was way off her 2:08:09 national record she established at the I-Lan Blossom Lake Triathlon in Taipei last year.

Wu took the bronze medal with 2:11:59 while Kikuchi finished fourth at 2:12:04.

The top three finishers in the race received P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 respectively.
Marion Kim Mangrobang, 18, gave the country something to cheer about after finishing third in the Under 23 (2:32:45).

Mangrobang, competing in her second Olympic distance race, was in a good position to take the top spot after coming out of the water second to Beijing Olympian Tania Mak So Ning of Hong Kong and was still within striking distance after the bike leg.

She however lost steam in the run leg allowing Mak the gold (2:24:27) while another Hong Kong bet Joyce Cheung Ting Yan bagged the silver (2:28:53).

Competitions were also held in the mini-sprint, junior sprint elite and adult sprint where top three finishers also went home with medals.

John Rommel Uy (38:23) and Singapore’s Joy Phan Young Ting (52:58) topped the mini-sprint, Johannah Pe Benito (1:34:18) and Hong Kong’s Tsz Hei Cheung (1:16:04) ruled the jr. sprint elite while Malaysia’s Stephanie Chok (1:36:22) and Jon Jon Rufino (1:25:21) took the Adult Sprint titles.

Competition ends Sunday with action in the male elite, junior elite, age groups and Inter-Club championships.

Doha Asian silver medalist Daniel Lee Chi Wu of Hong Kong leads 30 athletes including 24 foreigners, who will see action in the male elite.

The Philippines will be bannered by Fil-Am Arland Macasieb, Geroge Vilog, Neil Catiil, Rowel Odoion, Carlo Pedregosa and Brian Borling.

A total of nine countries are competing this year and joining host Philippines are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Macau and Iran. (c/o GMANews.TV)

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