June 19, 2018, 11:38 pm
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Chicano upstages Huelgas in PNG

CEBU CITY. — For years, John Chicano played second fiddle to back-to-back Southeast Asian Games men’s triathlon champion Nikko Huelgas.

On Wednesday, Chicano turned the tables on his more illustrious national teammate in ruling the elite men’s triathlon event of the PSC-Philippine National Games in Tabuelan, 103.4 kilometers northwest of here.

Under ideal conditions Chicano bested Huelgas in the 25.75-kilometer swim-bike-run Olympic event, beating the latter in a sprint to the finish line in the last leg in a time of one hour, one minute and one second.

The reigning SEA Games triathlon king, representing Manila, checked in with a time of 1:01.35 while their fellow national teammate Julius Constantino settled for the bronze in 1:02.38 in the sports fest organized by the PSC and supported by the Cebu City government led by Mayor Tomas Osmena.

Filipino-American Kim Kilgore, representing Zambales, handily won the women’s event in 1:09.56, Muntinlupa’s Una Sibayan bagged the silver (1:21.56) and hometown bet Rue Reinhadt Panibon took the bronze (1:23.36).  

Also making their presence felt were Sta. Rosa, Laguna’s Nicole Meah Pamintuan and General Santos City’s Camilo Russell Owen La Torre, who emerged as the PNG swimming queen and king, respectively, at the Cebu City Sports Center pool.

Pamintuan kept her unblemished record intact in the four-day swimming competitions, collecting her fifth straight gold medal  with a runaway victory in the women’s 16-and-over 200-meter race in 2;15.69,  25 meters and more than 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Lovely Pauline Flores of Zambales.  Cagayan de Oro City’s   Stephannie Ela Asil  (2:33.29)was third.

La Torre also annexed his fifth mint after securing the boys 16-over 200-meter freestyle title  in 2:05 64, boosting his medal tally to six with the bronze he won in the 4x100-meter individual medley event last Tuesday.  

Filipino-Japanese Shin Matsumura likewise had his day in the limelight, landing a spot on the national team with his impressive victory in the men’s -100-kilogram division over at the University of San Carlos North Campus gym for a memorable PNG debut.

After prevailing lopsidedly in the first two matches, the 18-year-old Tokyo native, whose mother hails from Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, capped his huge day in toying around with Quezon’s John Viron Ferrer in the gold medal match to win convincingly by ippon, or a full point.

“Because of his performance here, Matsumura will now be included in the national pool and we will start training him for the 2019 Philippine Southeast Asian Games,” said judo chief Dave Carter, who also acted as the tournament director of the meet.

A freshman student in Sports Health Science at the Juntendo University in Tokyo, Matsumura will continue to train Tokyo until the SEA Games draws near, according to his mom.

Dither Joshua Tablan copped the gold in the men’s plus-100-kg division while Charmea Quelino and Kayla Amado took golds each in the women’s -63-kg and -70-kg women’s divisions, respectively.    

In cycling, Muntinlupa Marella Salamat, who won a gold in the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games, ruled the women’s individual time trial in 45:43.07 while Cebu’s John Rene Mier topped the men’s ITT in 39:45.90 in neighboring Danao City.    
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