Malaybalay triathletes compete in PH tilt

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/January 24) Seven triathletes from Malaybalay City’s Bukidnon Kids Triathlon Team  will compete against around 630 athletes from all over the country in the upcoming 2018 National Age-group Triathlon (NAGT) series this coming January 28 in San Bernardino, Subic Bay Freeport, Zambales.

Team Coach, Kenneth Amiel M. Taylor said this is the first time the team will participate in the NAGT series. The team has dominated the Mindanao leg of the competition in Cagayan de Oro in November 2017, he added.

The athletes are 15-year-old Godwin Jacob T. Taylor, 14-year-old Joseff Miguel A. Quirino, 14-year-old Jan Paul S. Orong, 18-year-old Andrie Sajulga, 15-year-old Karl Rafael A. Pamakid, 18-year-old Reef Chazz A. Briones and 12-year-old Sophia Psalm S. Belican.

The parents said they are also bringing the name of Malaybalay in their regional, national and international competitions.

“Their hometown is also announced every time the winners are called during awarding,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that the national team for triathlon is already noticing some athletes from Bukidnon Team so they are very determined to perform well in Subic. The event may become an avenue for these local athletes to be handpicked as members of the national team.

“All the coaches are there watching, so I really want to win to be chosen as part of the Philippines team,” athlete Taylor said. He will be competing in the Elite Sprint Distance where his rivals are well-experienced young triathletes.

He said their team would be travelling on January 26 at their own expense. The parents of the athletes foot all fare, food, lodging and other expenses of their participation.

Arnel Quirino, parent of one of the athletes said they hope triathlon will become part of the priority sports of the local government in the future.

The Bukidnon Kids Triathlon Team have been training every day to prepare for the event. Part of their training are swimming, jogging, running and cycling where they get to improve their durability.

Coach Taylor said the local athletes have the potential to make it big in the national or international level.

Rhogene S. Sagayoc, Administrative Aide of Malaybalay City Sports Development Council explained that the city could not spearhead triathlon yet due to the lack of proper area for the swimming part. However, the city have been conducting duathlon where only cycling and running are involved.

He said the city government gives recognition to outstanding athletes annually during charter day celebration. One awardee of last year’s event was Godwin Jacob Taylor for placing third in the 2017 National Duathlon Championship and 3rd place in the Batang Pinoy Cycling criterion.

To keep up to their claim as Mindanao’s best triathlon team, Taylor said they are confident they will win or at least place in the 2018 NAGT series.

“Support us because we will be competing with a lot of other competitors in the Philippines or in the world,” Godwin Jacob said. (Efraem O. Egoc/ Development Communication intern from Bukidnon State University)

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