SEA Games: Philippines clinch first gold in women's triathlon, S'pore fail to finish race

Filipino Maria Claire Adorna (centre) won her country's first gold medal of the SEA Games in the women's triathlon on June 6, 2015. On her right is compatriot and silver medallist Marion Kim Mangrobang, who won silver, while Thailand's Sanr
Filipino Maria Claire Adorna (centre) won her country's first gold medal of the SEA Games in the women's triathlon on June 6, 2015. On her right is compatriot and silver medallist Marion Kim Mangrobang, who won silver, while Thailand's Sanruthai Arunsiri (left) came in third. -- ST PHOTO BERENICE LOW

SINGAPORE - Maria Claire Adorna from the Philippines put in a dominant performance at the women's triathlon on Saturday morning to clinch her country's first gold medal at the 28th SEA Games.

The 21-year-old emerged first out of the water after the 1.5km swim, and was ahead of teammate Marion Kim Mangrobang by more than four minutes in the 40km bike segment, before crossing the finish line in a time of 2hr 13min 18sec.

This is also the Philippines' first gold medal in the women's triathlon event.

Compatriot Mangrobang, 23, made it a one-two finish with her silver medal, clocking a time of 2:14.26 at the circuit around East Coast Park that ended with a 10km run.

She said: "We're very happy to have met our goal of coming in first and second, and for winning the first gold medal for our country."

Thailand's Sanruthai Arunsiri was third in 2:22.08 in the nine-women field.

Singapore's two representatives Winona Howe, 20, and Ethel Lin Zhiyun, 28, failed to finish the race.

Howe fell off her bike and scraped her knee, which hampered her speed. She was then lapped by Adorna and was eliminated from the race.

Meanwhile, Lin had looked poised to challenge for a bronze medal and was in third spot but collapsed from heat exhaustion on the final lap, 500m from the finish line.

She had to be driven to the finish line on a buggy. She is now on the way to hospital for further treatment.

The 31 degree Celsius weather had taken its toll on the other participants, including runner-up Mangrobang, who also fell to the ground after crossing the finish line. She had to to be wheeled to the medical area.

Said gold-medallist Adorna: "I try not drink water during races as it makes me heavier, but the weather was so hot today I drank water at every station."

berelow@sph.com.sg

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