SEA Games 2023: Fernando Casares clinches men’s triathlon gold for PH
PHNOM PENH—Fernando Casares eased the pain of Kim Mangrobang’s failed title-retention effort with a gold medal in men’s triathlon at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
The Filipino-Spanish defending champion emerged from the water a little bit late before he gradually recovered in the 20-kilometer bike and 5km run stretch to seize the title at the Kep Beach Resort, a 167-kilometer drive from the Games’ hub here.
In duplicating his 2022 feat in Hanoi, Casares reached the finish arc in 58 minutes, 33.5 seconds, making up for a bungled medal attempt in men’s duathlon on Sunday.
Indonesia’s Rashif Amila Yaqin led the 13-man field right after the 750m swim, but ended up chasing Casares after the second transition to wind up with the silver medal in 58:47.
Cebuano Andrew Kim Remolino, a back-to-back SEA Games silver medalist in the event, placed third in 59:53.
Mangrobang found naturalized Cambodian Margot Garabedian a tough customer in the women’s triathlon that ended the Filipino’s string of golds at the SEA Games.
Garabedian quickly rose out of the water in the 750-meter swim, kept Mangrobang at bay in the 20km bike before sealing victory in one hour, five minutes and 34.2 seconds after a steamy 5km run.
Mangrobang, the three-time champion since the 2017 edition of the Games in Malaysia, reached the beach at third, slowed down in the bike sequence and chased Garabedian in the footrace.
But the former French triathlete, ranked 190th in world triathlon, fed on her advantage following the second transition and arrived at the finish arc ahead of everybody else.
Fresh from defending her title in women’s duathlon on Sunday, Mangrobang checked in nearly two minutes (1:07:24) after Garabedian, a seventh placer at the World Junior Championships in 2014.
Singapore’s Louisa Marie Middleditch placed third (1:07:24) in the swim-bike-run race of endurance.
Raven Alcoseba missed the podium in fourth (1:08:49.1), more than three minutes after the 27-year-old Garabedian.
Team Philippines collected three out of the seven gold medals available in aquathlon (3), duathlon (2) and triathlon (2) with a pair of silvers from Remolino in men’s aquathlon and Mangrobang.
The PH mixed aquathlon relay team of Erika Burgos, Inaki Lorbes, Kira Ellis and Matthew Hermosa also bagged a gold medal.
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