Triathlete Vicky Deldio earned a spot in the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games after finishing fifth overall at the continental qualifier held in Burubay, Kazakhstan, recently.
The 16-year-old from Olongapo Cityswam the 750-m swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run in one hour, 11 minutes and 30 seconds and became first Filipino triathlete to see action in the Olympics, whether it is in the YOG or in the quadrennial Summer Olympics.
Deldio charged from 12th place in the swim leg to place fifth overall in the Asian qualifying race and secure a ticket to the YOG in Nanjing, China, set Aug. 16 to 24.
She actually crossed the line ninth overall but her placing improved as the International Triathlon Union ruled that only one triathlete per country will qualify to the YOG.
China, Japan and South Korea entered two triathletes each who finished in the top six. As host, China already earned two automatic slots (one male and one female).
Only five YOG spots were staked in the qualifier. Besides Deldio, Korean Kim Gyu-ri (1:05:20), Japanese Kubono Minami (1:05:46) and Hung Cheuk-yi (1:08:45) secured the first three berths while the fourth slot went to Singaporean Denise Chia Su Yun (1:11:27).
The Triathlon Association of the Philippines also entered Justin Chiongbian and Jose Nobles IV but they missed the cut.
“Vicky was a transformation,” said Trap president and Philippine Olympic Committee chair Tom Carrasco Jr. “Justin and Nobles showed big hearts. It’s a pity Justin got injured in the run leg when he was in the top five.”
Deldio will join archers Luis Gabriel Moreno and Bianca Gotuaco, and golfers Princess Superal and Mia Legaspi in the YOG.
Nobles placed 16th after clocking 1:06:57 in the race won by Japan’s Koyo Yamasaki (1:00:03).