UAAP standout swimmer turned triathlete Maria Claire Adorna won a bronze medal at the 2014 New Taipei ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup held at New Taipei Breeze Canal last June 14.
Joining her first triathlon international competition, the multititled swimmer proved that she deserves to be in the national team bound for the Incheon Asian Games by winning her first international triathlon medal after clocking two hours, 13 minutes and 33 seconds to place 3rd in a pool of 10 elite triathletes from all over Asia.
Hoi Long of Macau ruled the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K-bike and 10K-run contest in 2:08:33, followed by veteran Choi Yan Yin of Hong Kong who checked in at 2:11:40.
Benefiting from the monthlong training in Portugal under International Triathlon Union high performance coach Sergio Santos, Adorna surprised the field with a strong swim leg before Hoi caught up with her in the bike leg.
Adorna faded at the halfway mark of the run, allowing Hoi and Yin to pull away in the race that drew 43 elite triathletes from other Asian countries like Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
Compatriot Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano finished 9th and 20th in the male division with their times of 2:00.40 and 2:11.37
Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco Jr. said Adorna, Huelgas and Chicano will undergo a 31-day training in Portugal starting on August 20, along with another national triathlete Kim Mangrobang.
The Asian Games will formally open on Sept. 19, but the triathlon event is scheduled on Sept. 25 and 26, giving them extra time to prepare.
“This is the same camp and coach that we used for the training of the Youth Olympic Games aspirants recently,” said Carrasco Jr.
From Portugal, they will fly directly to Incheon for the competition.
But prior to their 31-day training in Portugal this August, Adorna, Huelgas and Chicano will be first seeing action at the Singapore International Triathlon on July 6 and 7.
Joining them are local coaches George Vilog and Ani De Leon Brown.