SINGAPORE – Kim Mangrobang doesn’t mind settling for the silver medal in women’s triathlon of the 28th Southeast Asian Games so long as a countryman won the gold.
Recalling a tactical move she did, Mangrobang admitted slowing down the pace in the bike leg where she raced neck-to-neck with Irene See Win Chong of Malaysia.
The tactic enabled teammate Claire Adorna to get past Mangrobang’s group, gaining her a four-minute lead going into the final stage of the race – the run leg.
“Strategy ‘yun kasi Claire can’t run good,” said Mangrobang, mentioning Adorna's injured left ankle. “Kailangan ‘yun para sa team.”
The approach paid off as Adorna won the race with a time of two hours, 13 minutes, and eight seconds to provide the first gold of the Philippines in the biennial meet.
Mangrobang tried to catch up with Adorna in the run leg as she was able to slice the time difference to one minute and 18 seconds, eventually giving her the silver medal for a 1-2 finish by the Filipina duo.
The effort also took its toll on Mangrobang as she had to leave in a wheelchair shortly after the race.
“Nag-work hard ako para dumikit kay Claire kasi sobrang layo ko sa bike. Binigay ko pa rin ‘yung best ko,” said Mangrobang, who finished with a time of 2:14:26.
The pretty 23-year-old said she is happy with what she accomplished in the meet, including her runner-up finish.
“I know the best girl will win talaga. Parehas naman kami nag-training. Si Claire ang kundisyon today. Sa triathlon talaga, hindi mo masasabing okay ka today. Parehas naman naming pinaghandaan. It’s her day today."