SEA GAMES 2019: Youth to the fore as Triathlon's Mixed Team Relay delivers silver
03 December 2019
The saying “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” never rang truer than on Monday (2 Dec) at the Subic Bay Boardwalk when the quartet of Herlene Yu, Luke Chua, Emma Middleditch and Bryce Chong combined for silver in the Triathlon mixed team relay event.
The Duathlon and Triathlon competition is being held at the Subis Bay Boardwalk
Accomplished triathletes in their own right, the four came together for this event that has been increasingly promoted by the International Triathlon Union.
Making its SEA Games debut, the mixed team relay sees all four team members taking turns to complete a 300m swim, 6.6km bicycle ride, and 1.8km run in the order of women-men-women-men, with the anchor having to run extra 200m.
The Singapore quartet finished the race in one hour 37 minutes and 58 seconds to emerge second out of six teams.
Mok Ying Rong took part in the Women’s Duathlon even
Hosts Philippines completed a clean sweep of the triathlon events with men’s individual champion John Chicano and women’s individual winner Kim Mangrobang a part of the winning quartet (1:33.47). Both Chicano and Mangrobang picked up their second gold medal at these Games.
Herlene and Emma are both 17-year-olds who vied for a spot in last year’s Youth Olympic Games. While Emma won the spot and competed in Buenos Aires as a newly minted Singapore, Herlene had to contend with a long rehabilitation following a bicycle crash while competing in Hong Kong last May.
Apart from missing out on the YOG, Herlene had to come back from a broken collarbone, a damaged knee ligament and torn ankle ligaments which saw her re-learning how to walk in the first three months following the crash.
As for the men, Luke is 18 while Bryce, 22, is the “old man” of the team.
Singapore’s Triathlon Mixed Relay team (from left): Bryce Chong, Luke Chua, Emma Middleditch and Herlene Yu
Said team manager Eugene Ong: “The team truly gave a good account of themselves in this new event. We have a very young team with three teenagers competing against strong professional triathletes from the Philippines.
“We were expecting a close fight but the hosts were simply too strong. Our quartet trained really hard after winning our local qualifiers and put in a great performance.
“The mixed relay is becoming increasingly popular and is a real crowd-pleaser, so it’s good to see our athletes medalling in this event.”
Earlier in the day, Lam Wai Kit and Foo Gen Lin lined up for the Men’s Duathlon with Lam just missing out of the medals in fourth, while Foo was 10th.
Silver for Singapore’s Triathlon Mixed Relay team of (L-R) Bryce Chong, Luke Chua, Emma Middleditch and Herlene Yu
The Women’s Duathlon field included three-time Powerman Asia Duathlon Championship winner Monica Torres, and the Filipina completed the 10km run, 40km bicycle ride and 5km run in 2:08.44 to secure gold.
Singapore’s Phoebe Kee (2:21.59) and Mok Ying Rong (2:25.23) finished out of the medals.