'Gold mine' triathlon an easy choice as NSA of the Year in PSA Awards Night
KIm Mangrobang and Nikko Huelgas completed a sweep of the triathlon gold medals in the last Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. Jerome Ascano

NOT only is triathlon gaining popularity in the country, the sport is also beginning to become a gold mine for the Philippines.

For the second straight time since competing in the Southeast Asian Games, triathlon completed a golden sweep for the Philippines courtesy of Nikko Huelgas and Kim Mangrobang to provide one of the highlights of the Filipinos’ campaign in the biennial meet held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last year.

The special feat and the continuous growth attained by the sport have earned the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) no less than the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year honor in the coming SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Awards Night at the Maynila Hall of the Manila Hotel on Tuesday.

TRAP is considered one of the most active NSAs today which provides country-wide competitions, all-year round under the leadership of president Ramon Marchan and secretary general Tom Carrasco, one of the prime movers of the sport from the very beginning.

But as early as the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, the Filipino triathletes already proved they can be a force to be reckoned with after sweeping the men’s and women’s events for the very first time behind the heroics of Huelgas and Marie Claire Adorna.

“No other federation deserves the NSA of the Year award from the PSA more than triathlon, for its unwavering campaign to promote the sport and help Filipino triathletes compete against the best the world,” said PSA president Dodo Catacutan of SPIN.ph.

Triathlon will be among the individuals and sports bodies numbering 105 overall, to be recognized by the country’s oldest media organization during the traditional rite presented by MILO and Cignal TV.

On top of the list are world champions Jerwin Ancajas, Krizziah Lyn Tabora, and Carlo Biado, who will all be bestowed the PSA-Tapa King Athlete of the Year honor.

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The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) serves as the major sponsor of the event also backed by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Smart, Mighty Sports, Globalport, and Rain or Shine.

TRAP is in good company.

Previous winners of the NSA of the Year award includes the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Philippine Taekwondo Association, Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, Wushu Federation of the Philippines, and the Dragon Boat Association.

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