2018 Ironkids: Borja nips Pusing by fraction of a second
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Members of the Philippine triathlon developmental team stole the spotlight in the 2018 Alaska Ironkids in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Saturday, August 4 .
National team triathletes Zedrick Borja and Clifford Pusing went neck and neck in the entire 13-14 boys race, clocking same times in the swim and bike disciplines until Borja edged out his rival by 0.07 seconds at the finish line.
Borja clocked 38 minutes, 24 seconds flat, while Pusing came so close with a time of 38:24.07.
However, it wasn't a surprise to them that they wound up as the main show in the 400m swim-9km bike-3km run.
"Matagal na kaming rivals, simula na nag-iba yung mindset ko ng Ironkids [and decided to take it seriously]," said Borja.
(We were rivals for a long time starting from when I changed my mindset on Ironkids and decided to take it seriously).
"Inasahan ko po na magkadikit kami ng kasama ko," agreed Pusing.
(I expected that I'll be going head-to-head with Borja.)
Earol Belonguil checked in 3rd with a 39:49.47 clocking, narrowly beating out Gian Taylor (39:49.75) for the final spot at the podium.
In the girls division, host Cebu earned bragging rights as its local rising stars swept the Ironkids 13-14 girls podium.
Lapu-Lapu City's very own national pool member Moira Frances Erediano came from behind to take the 13-14 girls title with a 41:12.62 clocking.
The Mactan native finished 50 seconds ahead of silver medalist Nicole Marie del Rosario from Cebu City (42:01.05).
The 13-year-old Erediano took the lead in the first 400m of the run stage after lagging behind in the swim stage and working her way to the top during the bike stage.
"In the run, so the [first] 400m, I really sprinted until I got [first place] because I was fast in the bike and run but then I’m slow in the swim, so I caught up in the bike and run," said Erediano.
Jeanna Canete from Minglanilla City rounded out the podium finishers with a 43:11.38 clocking.
Alaska Ironkids has been the breeding ground of future triathlon stars like former age group champion Tara Borlain.
"Tara is one good example, she just won a silver in the ASEAN School Games and gold in Palarong Pambansa, so we’re really proud of them," said Alask assistant brand manager Diane Guerte.
National team coach Ani de Leon-Brown – who has produced champions not only in Ironkids, but also in the Southeast Asian Games like national women's team members Claire Adorna and Kim Mangrobang – has also been spotting potential standouts in the event.
"Being a national coach, I see Ironkids as a breeding ground and a great place for me to spot upcoming talent. It’s really a good way to monitor who will do good in the future," said De Leon.
The Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific championships will kick off on Sunday, August 5 at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.
Ironkids age group and relay results: #AlaskaIronkids results for age groups 13-14, 11-12, 9-10 and 6-8. pic.twitter.com/pxlBwcLHt4
#AlaskaIronkids results for age groups 13-14, 11-12, 9-10 and 6-8. pic.twitter.com/pxlBwcLHt4— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) August 4, 2018
#AlaskaIronkids Relay results: pic.twitter.com/fC2OYW2Fhw— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) August 4, 2018