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Patron hopeful cycling, duathlon bets can produce golds in Vietnam SEAG

JUDES ECHAUZ

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Standard Insurance Group (SIG) Chairman Judes Echauz on Tuesday reaffirmed his support for cycling and duathlon in the country’s bid to win more gold medals in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam this year.

The avid sportsman said their athletes, who are mostly members of the national teams, have been rigorously training despite restrictions brought by the pandemic.

Their cyclists, in particular, have been training five days a week.

 “We’re happy we’re starting on the right foot,” Echauz said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Echauz added they have 10 male and five female riders capable of winning medals in the biennial meet where the PH team seeks to eclipse its one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the road cycling event.

He particularly cited the women’s team as having a better chance of winning gold medals with the presence of Jermyn Prado, who captured the individual time trial gold and road race silver in the 2019 SEAG that the country hosted.

Echauz is not discounting the capability of the men’s team despite settling only for bronze medals in the team time trial and team road race in the similar SEAG edition.

He cited notable cyclists who have the best chance to stand out in the SEAG like Jan Paul Morales, George Oconer, El Joshua Cariño, Jun Rey Navarra, Ronald Oranza, among others.

In the duathlon, Echauz is likewise optimistic the country can improve its one-gold, one-silver, one-bronze tally in the previous SEAG meet despite the retirement of reigning women’s champion Monica Torres.

 “We can get a 1-2 finish in the men’s. I’m also optimistic of our female duathletes,” he said.

He cited 2019 SEAG silver medalist Joey Delos Reyes, Doy Comendador, Pauline Fornea to boost the squad.

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