SUBIC — Taking over the triathlon mantle of the country, John Rambo Chicano made sure to run away with it.
Chicano now has a Southeast Asian Games gold under his belt after taking down the race Sunday at the Boardwalk here.
Chicano — who became the national team’s ace with Nikko Huelgas out for this campaign — breezed through the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer track that started at 6:00 am.
“Sobrang saya po masasabi ko ito pa lang ‘yung simula ng next level ng triathlon sa Pilipinas,” said Chicano.
He logged a total time of 1:53:26, finishing the swim course at 21:19, bike at 1:00:07, and run at 31:04.
Back in 2017, Huelgas clocked in at 1:59:30.
Compatriot Kim Remolino finished a distant second with a time of 1:55:03 (20:57 swim, 1:00:32 bike, and 32:46 run)
Remolino, a Cebuano, led during the swim part of the event before Chicano closed in during the bike. The hometown favorite then zoomed in the final stretch to win the event.
“Dun po sa swim talagang nagkarga kami. Talagang kailangan maka-gap kami ng konti kasi sa simula pa lang lalayo na si Kim,” said Chicano.
“Naubos talaga galing sa bike kasi pinilit namin na makawala nga po sa Indonesian para sa run. Wala na kaming problema sa first at silver, para ensured na ‘yung gold,” added Remolino.
For Remolino, he is just glad that his first SEA Games was fruitful.
“Sobrang saya po kahit first SEA Games ko po nakakuha agad ako ng medal. Bale hindi nga po naputol ni Kuya Nikko na gold and silver ng Philippines,” he said.
Indonesia’s Ahlul Firman Muhammad rounded out the podium with a time of 1:57:10.
This is the Philippines’ third overall gold in the event and first for this year’s edition of the regional meet.