26 November 2012

Abad books slot to 2013 World Games

MIRASOL Abad made history for Philippine duathlon when she earned a sport in the 2013 World Games in Colombia with a strong third place finish in the Century Tuna ASTC Asian Duathlon Championships yesterday at the Subic Bay Freeport.

Competing against the best from Japan, Abad, a 27-year-old native of Davao City, engaged two-time Olympian Ai Ueda in a neck-and-neck race only to lose steam in the final two kilometers of the run leg.

“She (Ueda) maintained her strong pace in the last two kilometers so I decided to slow down to ensure I’ll be able to finish the race. I was really expecting to do well after a second place finish in the Malakoff Powerman, Malaysia last week and I’m very much satisfied with a third place finish,” said Abad, who negotiated the 10K run, 40K bike and 5K run event in 2:01.57.

A multi-awarded triathlete seeing action in only her second duathlon race, Ueda, 29, led from start to finish and won in 2:00:54 while teammate Eri Miyazawa outsprinted Abad in the last 150 meters to claim the silver medal in 2:01:47.

“It was a fruitful hosting as Abad became the first duathlete from the Philippines to compete in a World event. We will try to look for a good duathlon coach from abroad to help train Abad,” said TRAP president Tom Carrasco Jr.

John Chicano, 21, clocked (1:42:55) and joined Robinson Estevez (1:43:43) and Nikko Huelgas (1:44:11) in sweeping the men’s Under 23 Elite competition while Cebu’s Justine Chiongbian (37:51) and Olongapo’s Jose Nobles (37:54) posted a one-two finish in the mini-sprint race as they atoned for the poor performance of the men’s elite team.

The top five in the elite divisions advanced to the World Games, with former Asian champion Airi Sawada (2:04:57) and Joyce Cheung of Hong Kong (2:07:11) completing the cast in the female elite class of the event backed by Century Tuna and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Fitness First, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Standard Insurance and Gatorade.

“I’m very happy with the win since I am a triathlete racing only in duathlon for the second time,” said Ueda, a Beijing and London Olympics veteran who bagged the Asian women’s title.

Sergey Yakovlev of Russia, despite arriving in the country barely 24 hours before the race, dominated Japanese rivals Yuka Fukaura and Morimichi Iihoshi and topped the men’s elite class with a time of 1:43:14.

Fukaura settled for second, just four ticks behind, and retained his Asian title Iihoshi finished third in 1:43:41. Japan’s Tadashi Mori (1:43:44) and Thomas Bruins of Netherlands (1:44:27) completed the top five in the men’s elite class.

Ryan Mendoza, the 2006 Asian champion, emerged as the top Filipino in the elite race, finishing seventh in 1:46:59.

National pool member Victoria Deldio won a silver medal in the female mini-sprint (43:51). Malaysian Zoe Bowder won the gold in 43:28. (Malaya)