06 May 2013

Young guns carry fight in Subic meet

Rising stars led by gold medalist Yuan Chiongbian bagged six medals and carried the day for the Philippines in the recent K-Swiss ASTC Subic Bay Asian Triathlon Championships at the Subic Bay Freeport.

Chiongbian, of Cebu City, towed Brent Valelo of Clark and Lance Vincent Plaza of Laguna to an all-Filipino podium finish in the 13-14 years category.

Chiongbian covered the 350M swim, 10K bike and 2.5K run event in 35 minutes and 36 seconds. Lavelo finished second, seven seconds behind, with Plaza checking in third in 36:15.

Chiongbian’s female teammates in the same age-group of the championship sponsored by K-Swiss, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Tourism Department, Standard Insurance, Century Tuna, Speedo, David’s Salon, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Gatorade, Fitness First, Garmin, Canon, PLDT, Harbor Point Ayala Mall, SM Olongapo, Lighthouse Marina Resort and Philippine Sports Commission also won medals.

Shaia Ruth Uy, who also hails from Cebu City, clocked 40:04 to bag the silver medal. Margarita de los Reyes of Quezon City finished 16 seconds behind, good for the bronze.

Completing the cast of Filipino teenaged medalists was Magali Echauz, daughter of Ernesto Echauz, the Philippine Sailing Association president.

Campaigning in the 15-16 age category (Youth Olympic Games aspirants), Echauz settled for the silver in the 500M swim, 18K bike and 3.3K run event in 1:01:57. Thai Nichapat Kaewma won the gold medal.

With her feat, Echauz installed herself as a top contender, along with Louie Lalanto of Cagayan de Oro, for a slot in the Asian Youth Olympic Games qualifier next month in Kazakhstan.

“We are happy over the success achieved by our youth triathletes. We are monitoring the improvements of young triathletes from around Asia and we have decided to invest more on the youth triathlon development program headed by coach Melvin Fausto,” said Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco. (Malaya)