Fernando Casares dreams of a golden double in Cambodia after Clark victory
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-Spanish Fernando Jose Casares made a vivid picture in his mind of the end of his run in New Clark City.
What the Southeast Asian Games triathlon champion had imagined did not far from reality on Sunday after winning the men’s elite sprint of the 2022 National Duathlon Championship organized by the Philippine Triathlon Association.
“I’ve been watching this race for a week, I even dreamed of it. But I didn’t expect to win 100%,” Casares said after finishing the five-kilometre race, the 20km bike and the 2.5km race in a high-speed finish.
John Leerams Chicano, the 2019 SEA Games triathlon gold medalist, actually offered stiff competition before the 26-year-old Casares beat him to the line after clocking 58 minutes and three seconds.
Chicano checked in six seconds over Casares as Maynard Pecson won bronze (58:13) before back-to-back SEA Games silver medalist Kim Remolino (58:29) and Raymund Torio (58:31) came on to complete the top of the national team. five finishes.
As the race serves as a pre-qualifier for the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia from May 5-17 next year, Casares is expecting a double gold medal as he tries to defend his triathlon title and also win the duathlon event.
“My plan is to win not just one, but two gold medals in triathlon and duathlon. I feel confident, especially after this race,” said Casares, whose best time in duathlon sprints is 55. minutes.
“My time can qualify me for a gold medal. I still have a long way to go, but I will get there,” he added.
Casares, whose mother Marietta Ramos of Valenzuela City moved to Madrid before he was born, will face stiff opposition between defending SEAG duathlon champion Pham Tien San of Vietnam and Rudi Febriade of Indonesia.
“I know there are going to be some strong guys in Cambodia like Pham, the guy who won the last SEA Games. I have to beat him, I have to be faster in both runs,” Casares said.
Raven Faith Alcoseba topped the women’s elite sprint in one hour, six minutes and 32 seconds, beating Singaporeans Louisa Middleditch (1:07:10) and Merry Joy Trupa (1:08:50) in the event supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, HOKA, Filinvest New Clark City, Standard Insurance, Asian Center for Insulation Philippines, Fissan and Fitbar as main sponsors.
Three-time SEA Games triathlon champion Kim Mangrobang, also current SEAG women’s duathlon champion, jumped the race in which a total of 103 teams participated, including foreign contingents from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa. and the United States.
“In Cambodia (SEA Games), all events are sprints, so our elite athletes have focused on the sprint distance,” said TRAP President Tom Carrasco. “Out of the seven events, we will aim for at least four (gold medals).”
The Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, will host the SEA Games with two events each (individual men and women) in triathlon and duathlon and three events in aquathlon.
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