PHILIPPINE triathlon celebrated a piece of history last Sunday when 16-year-old Vicky Deldio earned a place in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games after a top-five finish in the YOG Qualifier held in Burubay, Kazakhstan.
Deldio, the lone Filipina bet in the Youth Girls category, displayed admirable will and composure as she clawed back from 12th place after the swim leg to punch a ticket to the Youth Games set in Nanjing, China this August.
The Olongapo City bet negotiated the 750-m swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run in one hour, 11 minutes and 30 seconds as she became the first-ever triathlete from the Philippines to see action in the Olympics, whether in the YOG or the quadrennial Summer Games.
Deldio, sent to the event by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), actually settled for ninth place overall but International Triathlon Union (ITU) rules for the YOG qualifying stated that only one triathlete per country will qualify for the tournament proper set from August 16 to 24.
Korea, Japan and China had two triathletes finishing in the top six but Chinese triathletes were ineligible for the incentive since they were already given two slots (one male and one female) as host of the Games.
Applying the ITU rule, Korean Kim Gyuri (1:05:20) and Kubono Minami (1:05:46) took the first two slots while the third berth went to Hong Kong’s Hung Cheuk-yi (1:08:45) and the fourth to Singaporean Denise Chia Su Yin (1:11:27).