2 Golds for Kim

DUATHLETE Kim Mangrobang, wushu artist Agatha Wong and world champion gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo win gold medals that put Philippines in the thick of the fight in the Vietnam 31st Southeast Asian Games.

HANOI—Kim Mangrobang rules women’s duathlon on Sunday to follow up on her success in triathlon only the day before at the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

In high spirits after pulling away to victory in the women’s triathlon last Sunday, Mangrobang, 30, of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, beat Malaysian Tahira Muhammad Zaid to the tape for her first duathlon title at the Tuan Chau Peninsula. She clocked two hours and 13.12 seconds.

“I prepared very well for these two events, that’s why I’m really happy with the result,” Mangrobang said. “I focused on my recovery and my conditioning Coach, Annie Brown, did a beautiful job.”

Mangrobang trained extensively with the national team in Portugal to polish her skills for both duathlon and triathlon, which Team Philippines swept with its victory in the men’s race.

Agatha Wong, meanwhile, saved her best for last to rule wushu’s taijijian (taolu) as the Philippine wushu team hit its target of winning two gold medals also on Sunday.

Wong bagged the gold barely 24 hours after relinquishing her crown and settling for the silver in the taijiquan (taolu), the same event she won in the past two editions of the 11-nation event.

Later in the afternoon, Arnel Mandal made it a double celebration for the Philippines, winning the team’s second gold by beating Laksmana Pandu Pratama of Indonesia in the finals of the men’s 56kg sanda, 2-0.

Team Philippines will now return home with two golds, two silvers, the other one courtesy of Jones Inso in men’s taijiquan (taolu), and a bronze, also provided by Inso in taijijian.

“Because of little time to train our athletes, our conservative estimate was two gold medals and we achieved it,” said Wushu Federation of the Philippines president Freddie Jalasco.

“I’m so thankful,” said Wong, who admitted coming here that she had low expectations because the national team only had two months to train under a bubble setup in Manila.

Tahira settled for the women’s duathlon silver in 2:14.22, while Putri Bulan Aprilla of Indonesia settling for the bronze with 2:14.49 in the competition.

Her double duty done for the country, Mangrobang will now focus on the duathlon race in the World Games in Alabama, USA on July 7.

Mangrobang stands to receive P600,000 in incentive from the Philippine Sports Commission, which is funding the campaign of the national team.

The other Filipina entry in duathlon, Alexandra Ganzon, finished eighth with a time of 2:23 time. John Leerams Chicano, the men’s triathlon champion in 2019, came in fourth and Raymond Torio finished sixth in the men’s individual duathlon.

Vietnam’s San Pham Tien topped the men’s race while Indonesian Rudi Febriade and Jauhari Johan captured the silver.

Triathlon Association of the Philippines President Tom Carrasco was pleased with the performance of his wards.

“We got three golds out of the possible four. I thought we’re going to win only two but we got three,” Carrasco said. “I am happy with what we got. Indonesia and Vietnam prepared very well against us, but our athletes responded well to the challenges.”

Wong wowed the judges in the event that had nine participants wielding a double-edged sword traditionally used in Chinese martial arts and earned a score of 9.71 points.

Hometown bets Huyen Tran Thi and Trang Tran Thi tried hard to get the crowd going at the Cau Giay Gymnasium. But they couldn’t do any better than 9.70 and 9.69 for the silver and bronze, respectively.

Image credits: NONIE REYES/Canon R6


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