AFTER a long wait of two years, Mervin Rencel Santiago relied on a strong performance to overcome his rivals in an exciting battle to claim the top honor during the Anvaya Cove Invitational Triathlon held yesterday at the Anvaya Cove Beach & Nature Club (ACBNC) in Bataan.
Santiago emerged as the overall male champion -- his first since 2014 -- in the Standard Distance 1.5Km swim-40Km bike-10 Km run event with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 19 seconds followed by Rene Tayag with 2:43:4 and Benjie Zapanta with 2:46:29.
Early on in the race, Santiago found himself challenged by Tayag and Jet Ramos who suffered a broken spike on his tire during the cycling leg which slowed him down and allowed Zapanta to win the bronze.
On the distaff side of the event sponsored by Ayala Land Premier, Globe Telecom, MHECO, Folded & Hung, A.C. Lazaga, Veda Spa, Island Fantasy, Gatorade, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Glyptic Art Enterprise, Globalinens Worldwide, Inc., Powel Chem, Royal Duty Free, Bio-Diesel, Vantage Point Photography, Universal Towel, Olongapo Gas and Kaakbay sa Kinabukasan Cooperative, Danielle Infantado’s strong swim and run helped her win the crown in 3:15:04. She was followed far behind by Ines Santiago with 3:21:07 and Nylah Bautista who clocked 3:43:36.
Nica Deldio, who graduated from the SuperTriKids (STK) class, made her debut on the Sprint Distance (750M swim-20Km bike-5Km run) memorable finishing first place in 1:32:36 followed by Andrea Villanueva with 1:39:58 and Miki Terada with 1:59:11. The Sprint Distance male crown was won by Carlos Selubo followed by Austine Morfe and Paolo Vispo.
On the Girls 13-15 Mini-Sprint (500M swim-9Km bike-2.5Km run) contest, Lauren Plaza led all the way from start to finish beating long-time rival Nicole Eijansantos who is just recovering from injury. The bronze went to Sophia Almendral. Regarding the Boys 13-15 race, Juan Baniqued surged in the run leg to breakaway from Josh Ramos whom he raced very closely before finally getting the gold. At 3rd place was Russel Villaraza.
Other champions in the race were Laarni Pichay and Jerard Taloy (Adult Mini-Sprint), Albarda-Escopete-Sandoval (Team Relay), team Pangilinan (Family Relay), Nadia Manalo (SD Female 18-29), Diana Samson (SD Female 30-39), Kara David (SD Female 40-above), Bryan Mendiola (SD 25-29), Guz Dela Rosa (SD 30-34), Jet Ramos (SD 35-39), Jessie Magat (SD 40-44), J.A. Caniza (SD 45-49) and Jamie Leather (SD 50-54).