MANILA, Philippines — John “Rambo” Chicano lived up to his promise on Sunday, delivering the first gold for the Philippines by ruling the men’s triathlon event of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Subic Bay Boardwalk in Zambales.
The 28-year old native of Olongapo City copped his first gold medal in the biennial meet after finishing second only in the 2017 edition.
It was another 1-2 finish for the Philippines as Andrew Kim Remolino took the silver medal.
The golden finish was also the first for the games, a fast start for the Philippines which is bidding to regain the overall crown it won for the first time in 2005, the last time the biennial games were held in Manila.
Two hours later, defending women’s triathlon champion Kim Mangrobang made it a golden double for the hosts, sparking joyous celebration hours after the games got off to an auspicious start with glittering opening rites at the Philippine Arena.
Chicano, who finished second to countryman Nikko Huelgas in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, clocked 1:53.26 to win his first SEA Games medal, leading a one-two finish by Filipinos.
Andrew Kim Remolino bagged the silver medal in 1:55:03, with Muhammad Ahlul Firman of Indonesia settling for the bronze medal in 1:57:10.
Mangrobang also led a 1-2 finish by local bets in the distaff side, clocking 2:02.00. Teammate Kim Kilgroe finished second in 2:05.02, while Octaria Nechtavani of Indonesia salvaged the bronze in 2:16.33
“I’m overjoyed. I still can’t believe I did it. The Indonesian was really strong, he stayed with us all the way,” said Chicano, a native of Olongapo City.
Remolino, a SEA Games first-timer just coming off the juniors ranks, was also overjoyed, saying: “I’m really happy. Coming from the juniors, making my games debut and winning a silver.
“It’s a bonus that we managed to defend the gold and silver,” he added. (AO/IAMIGO/CNS)