Former varsity swimmer Ma. Claire Adorna carried the cudgels for Team Philippines by salvaging a bronze medal in the 2014 New Taipei ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup held Sunday at New Taipei Breeze Canal. Proving she deserves to be in the national team bound for the Incheon Asian Games, the multititled swimmer clocked two hours, 13 minutes and 33 seconds for her first podium finish in her first international triathlon competition. Hoi Long of Macau ruled the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K-bike and 10K-run contest in 2:08:33, followed by veteran Choi Yan Yin of Hong Kong who checked in at 2:11:40. The 20-year-old Adorna’s impressive debut made up for the poor performance of Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano, who struggled in the men’s division. Benefiting from the monthlong training in Portugal under International Triathlon Union high performance coach Sergio Santos, Adorna surprised the field with a strong swim leg before Hoi caught up with her in the bike leg. Adorna faded at the halfway mark of the run, allowing Hoi and Yin to pull away in the race that drew 43 elite triathletes from other Asian countries like Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco Jr. said Adorna, Huelgas and Chicano will be sent to Singapore for another competition this July, before joining Kim Mangrobang in another training in Portugal. Aside from Carrasco, the Philippine delegation included national coaches George Vilog and Ani Karina De Leon-Brown.
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