Triathlon and duathlon champion Kim Mangrobang. SEA GAMES POOL

Triathlon and duathlon champion Kim Mangrobang. SEA GAMES POOL

After dominating the Southeast Asian Games for the fourth straight edition, Filipino triathletes could be up for their toughest challenge yet in Cambodia next year.

Kim Mangrobang ruled the women’s triathlon and duathlon events, and Team Philippines made it a double in the swim-bike-run event after Fernando Jose Casares triumphed in the men’s side, but Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco feels that the opposition has gotten stronger and would be at their peak in Phnom Phen.

“We should expect a more difficult competition next year (in the 32nd edition of the Games). The Vietnamese and the Indonesians are getting stronger,’’ Carrasco told the Inquirer.

Cebuano Andrew Kim Remolino pocketed the men’s silver for the second straight time, but Ronald Bintang Setiawan of Indonesia, who placed third, caught Carrasco’s attention like another Indonesian Inge Prasetyo, who was second to Mangrobang.

Raven Faith Alcoseba was third in the women’s division.

“We should have more reliable backups to Mangrobang and Casares, so Alcoseba and Remolino ought to take big steps,’’ said Carrasco.

The Phnom Pehn edition, which will happen almost exactly a year from now, will also add aquathlon, making it three disciplines for the sport. There will be three events—men, women and team—in the three disciplines in Cambodia, making for nine total gold medals up for grabs.

Carrasco feels the Philippines has the tools to continue to win, but to dominate again is another story.

“If we are good in triathlon, we should have the materials and talents for aquathlon, too,’’ said Carrasco.

“I really expect a tighter competition next year and I’m looking forward to Cambodia with guarded optimism,’’ said Carrasco.

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