MANGROBANG (center) wins her third straigth triathlon and first duathlon crown — COACH MELVIN FAUSTO)| VIA LUISA MORALES, JUN MENDOZA

TUAN CHAU — Less than 24 hours after winning her third straight triathlon crown, Kim Mangrobang ruled the women’s duathlon on Sunday, becoming the first Filipino athlete in the Vietnam 31st Southeast Asian Games here to capture back-to-back gold medals.

In high spirits after pulling away to victory in the women’s triathlon last Sunday, Ms. Mangrobang, 30, of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, outlasted Malaysian Tahira Muhammad Zaid, winning her first duathlon title at the Tuan Chau Peninsula in 2:13.12 seconds.

“I prepared very well in two events, that’s why I’m really happy with the result. I focused on my recovery and my conditioning coach, Annie Brown, did a beautiful job,” said Ms. Mangrobang, who trained extensively with the national team in Portugal.

Ms. Tahira won the silver in 2:14.22, while Putri Bulan Aprilla of Indonesia settled for the bronze with a clocking of 2:14.49 in the competition participated in by 11 athletes from seven countries. 

Her double duty done for the country, Ms. Mangrobang will now focus on the duathlon race in the World Games in Alabama, USA on July 7. She is also competing in next year’s Asian Games and is eyeing a slot in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

She is set to return Monday to Laguna to rest her body after the grueling 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run in the triathlon event last Saturday and the duathlon’s standard distance of 10K run, 40K bike and 5K run. Ms. Mangrobang stands to receive P600,000 in incentive from the Philippine Sports Commission, which is funding the campaign of the national team here.

“I still don’t know what to do, maybe I’ll put it in the bank first,” said Ms. Mangrobang, who also ruled the triathlon events in the 2017 and 2019 games.

The other Filipina entry in duathlon, Alexandra Ganzon, finished eighth with a time of 2:23 time. 

John Leerams Chicano, the men’s triathlon champion in 2019, came in fourth and Raymond Torio finished sixth in the men’s individual duathlon. Vietnam’s San Pham Tien topped the race while Indonesian Rudi Febriade and Jauhari Johan captured the silver.

Triathlon Association of the Philippines President Tom Carrasco was pleased with the performance of his wards, saying: “We got three golds out of the possible four. I thought we’re going to win only two but we got three. I am happy with what we got. Indonesia and Vietnam prepared very well against us, but our athletes responded well to the challenges.”

Aside from the three gold medals, the other one contributed by Fil-Spanish Fernando Casares in the men’s triathlon last Saturday, the Philippines also won two more medals, a silver from Andrew Kim Remolino and a bronze medal from Raven Faith Alcoseba in the triathlon.