Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SPORTS - By June Navarro @ju­navINQ

There’s lit­tle doubt that Nikko Huelgas won’t be able to re­tain his men’s triathlon ti­tle in the South­east Asian Games.

Huelgas beat all his South­east Asian ri­vals with still plenty of gas left in the tank dur­ing the re­cent ASTC Triathlon Asian Cham­pi­onships in Jak­abar­ing Sport City in Palem­bang, In­done­sia.

The head of the Philip­pine Olympic Com­mit­tee Ath­letes Com­mis­sion clocked two hours and 50 sec­onds dur­ing the swim-bike-run test of en­durance and was al­ready cool­ing down when In­done­sians Jauhari Jo­han and Muham­mad Ah­lul Fir­man checked in.

Jo­han ar­rived in 2:05:35 and Fir­man in 2:05:57, more than five min­utes clear of Huelgas, the de­fend­ing men’s triathlon cham­pion af­ter his feat in the 2015 Sin­ga­pore Games.

“We joined the race to know the ca­pac­ity of Nikko’s op­po­nents from Sin­ga­pore, In­done­sia, Thai­land and Malaysia,” said triathlon chief Tom Car­rasco.

“Hope­fully we could re­tain the dou­ble gold in the SEA Games and add two sil­vers for good mea­sure,” added Car­rasco.

In the women’s race, Kim Kil­groe also de­feated her South­east Asian op­po­nents af­ter com­ing home in 2:19:18, al­most three min­utes ahead of Malaysia’s Irene See Win Chong (2:22:06).

Car­rasco said de­fend­ing SEA Games women’s cham­pion Claire Adorna wasn’t able to race af­ter her coached deemed it bet­ter to rest her strained calf mus­cle.

Also join­ing Huelgas and Ador- na in the Kuala Lumpur Games are John Chi­cano and Kim Man­grobang, the 2015 sil­ver medal­ist.

Huelgas came in 16th over­all be­hind a slew of world-class triath­letes from Ja­pan, Hong Kong, Taipei, China and Korea led by Ja­panese gold-win­ner Jumpei Fu­ruya, who com­pleted the course cov­er­ing 1.5 kilo­me­ters of swim­ming, 40km bike and 10km run.

The top six fin­ish­ers were all Ja­panese with sec­ond-placer Makoto Odakura and Shiruba Taniguchi wind­ing up just sec­onds be­hind Fu­ruya to reach the podium.


Nikko Huelgas

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