A perfect environment to discover the country’s future international triathlon champion is in the works.

The Go For Gold Sunrise Sprint races scheduled in Cebu, Davao and Subic this year will serve as the talent search platform where the next Nikko Huelgas is expected to emerge.

“I’m looking forward to discover diamonds in the rough and find another Nikko Huelgas,’’ said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go.

Huelgas, the back-to-back Southeast Asian Games men’s triathlon champion, is gunning for a third straight gold medal in the SEAG to be hosted by Philippines later this year.

Teaming up with Sunrise Events over the next three years, the Go For Gold Sunrise Sprint will coincide with the 5150 triathlon races on April 28 in Cebu, July 7 in Davao and November 3 in Subic Bay. 5150 is an Olympic distance race.

Go said the top performers in the open category (15 years old and above) of these races will be tapped to join the Go For Gold triathlon team along with Huelgas and fellow national team members John Chicano and Kim Remolino.

“It will be a points-based series and the one with the most points or wins at the end of the three races will get a contract with our team,’’ said Go, vice president for marketing of Powerball Marketing and Logistics Corp., the company behind the Go For Gold project.

On his 10th year as an elite triathlete, Huelgas is looking forward to train with the triathletes who will be discovered in these races during the initial three-year program.

“I won’t be able to win the 2017 SEA Games if not for the full support of Go For Gold. But it’s not only about delivering medals and bringing pride to the country. It’s also about sustaining the program,’’ said Huelgas.

“As a veteran triathlete, my role is to help sustain the success by inspiring and mentoring a new generation of triathletes to become world-class,’’ said Huelgas.

Participants in the Go For Gold Sunrise Sprint should complete the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5km run challenge.

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