Champion triathlete Nikko Huelgas of Team Go For Gold is thrilled at the prospect of retaining his Southeast Asian Games title in front of his countrymen.
The back-to-back SEA Games gold medalist showed a preview of what he can accomplish after topping the men’s elite category in the 2018 National Age Group Triathlon held in Naga, Cebu recently.
“I was surprised with my own performance because I really had a bad season this year and I don’t know why,’’ said Huelgas.
Huelgas defeated Go For Gold teammate Andrew Kim Remolino and Jorry Ycong of Rider Omega Tri team by three minutes after clocking two hours, two minutes and four seconds in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K bike and 10K run race.
“I want to thank Go For Gold for their unfailing support. If not for them, I wouldn’t be here today with two gold medals in the SEA Games,’’ said Huelgas.
Go For Gold Philippines headed by Jeremy Go has consistently bankrolled the overseas training and competitions of the men’s elite triathlon squad that helped produce several medals and accolades for the national team.
Just recently, ace triathlete John Leerams Chicano ruled the prestigious Tri-Factor International Triathlon in Quzhou, China under the Go For Gold Philippines banner.
The convincing victory in the NAGT has motivated Huelgas, head of the Athletes Commission in the Philippine Olympic Committee, to push himself to the limit for a third straight gold medal in the SEA Games to be held in Clark and Subic late next year.
“I’m concerned about injuries. It can readily end my bid for a third straight gold, plus the fact that all countries are steadily improving so I don’t want to be complacent,’’ said Huelgas.
After the just-concluded NAGT, the next big challenge for Huelgas is the Ironman 70.3 race in Vietnam roughly five months from now.