Another medal for Mataragnon in international race
By Mars G. Alison
Cebuana Aaliyah Ricci Mataragnon bucked colds and cough to clinch her category’s silver medal in the NewMoon Khcycle Metasprint Series in Singapore last Sunday.
Mataragnon clocked 41 minutes and five seconds to finish a little more than three minutes behind Zoe Natasha Bowden, Malaysia’s representative to the qualifying for this year’s Youth Olympic Games. Bowden topped the Female 14-15 category with a time of 38.01.
The 13-year-old member of the Philippine triathlon developmental pool relegated another Malaysian triathlete to third place, DayaneeKunaseelan, who crossed the finish line in 41.20.
“I didn’t expect so much to win because I was having cough and colds but I just tried my best,” said Mataragnon, adding that her goal was just to enter the top 5, if not then at least make it to the top 10.
The Sacred Heart School Hijas de Jesus student said that it did cross her mind to quit the race because it was to start at 10 a.m. with the sun’s rays beating down on them.
“I thought of my training then decided to go ahead despite the pain,” Mataragnon said.
The young Cebuana triathlete came out of the water in fourth place and managed to climb to second with a neck-to-neck battle against Kunaseelan.
She narrated that she got a bit slow in the second transition, wherein triathletes discard their bikes and go into the final segment of the race which is running. This resulted to Kunaseelan pulling out ahead of her into the run.
Mataragnon, however, caught up with the Malaysian in the turning point and held on to the second place until the finish line.
This is Mataragnon’s second time to race in the event. Last year, she brought home the bronze for the female 12-13 category. It marked the first time she competed in an international race.
Mataragnon will be arriving in Cebu on Wednesday and after the Holy Week will immediately go back into training, this time, for the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) on April 26 to 27.
Mataragnon is mentored by champion runner Philip Duenas in running and coaches Tito Bonilla and Ronald Manlosa for swimming. She trains with her dad, Ritchie Mataragnon, for her biking.
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