Filipino triathletes shine in Portugal Cup series

 

MANILA–The Philippines’ top triathletes posted top performances at the Sixth Triatlo Montemor that’s part of the Portugal Cup Triathlon series in Portugal.

Marie Claire Adorna won the silver medal in the overall elite category not to mention the gold in the under-23 age category.

Adorna, who represented Rio Maior Triathlon in the competition, placed second behind Rio Olympics competitor Pamella Oliveira of Brazil. The Filipina was two minutes behind the favored Oliveira.

Meanwhile, Philippine team captain Nikko Huelgas placed first in the senior elite category and ranked in the overall top five in the men’s side.

Nikko Huelgas wins the gold in the senior elite category of the VI Triatlo Montemor that is a stage in the ongoing Portugal Cup Triathlon Series. (photo from Nikko Huelgas' Facebook account)

Nikko Huelgas wins the gold in the senior elite category of the VI Triatlo Montemor that is a stage in the ongoing Portugal Cup Triathlon Series. (photo from Nikko Huelgas’ Facebook account)

The competition is the latest stage of the Portugal Triathlon Federation’s Portugal Cup series. The September 3-4 event was held in the town of Montemor-o-Velhoin Portugal’s Coimbra district

The website of the Federacao de Triatlo writes that the next stage of the Portugal Cup will be held September 10-11 in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Adorna and Huelgas are the reigning Southeast Asian Games triathlon champions after winning gold medals last year in Singapore.

Last June 5th, Huelgas finished eighth in the New Taipei City ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup and Strait Cup; Some weeks earlier, last April 29th, Huelgas landed in 19th place at the Hatsukaichi ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships in Japan. On April 2nd, Huelgas placed 64th before a tough European field in the Quarteira ETU (European Triathlon Union) European Cup.

Adorna, for her part, placed ninth in New Taipei City and sixth at the Hatsukaichi meet. Adorna also placed fourth in the Subic Bay NTT Triathlon Asian Cup last April 16.

In the latest points list data of the International Triathlon Union, both Huelgas and Adorna are ranked 283rd. Huelgas currently has 291.45 pts. while Adorna has 182.69 pts. While Huelgas is the country’s top-ranked male triathlete, 203rd-ranked Marion Kim Mangrobang is the highest-ranked Filipina.

Points in the ITU Points List are based on triathletes’ performances in 11 levels of events, says the ITU’s rankings criteria (http://www.triathlon.org/uploads/docs/ITU_points_list_criteria_06122015.pdf).

After the win in Montemor, Huelgas said on his Instagram account: “God really gives at the right time when we keep trying.”

 

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About JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO