Cagayan de Oro’s Neil Catiil capped a fruitful year with a victory in the fourth leg of the Powerade National Duathlon Open last Sunday at the Quirino Grandstand.
The 23-year-old Catiil engaged third leg champion Robeno Javier in a toe-to-toe race in the first run leg before unleashing his might in his favorite bike phase to turn the final run stage into his victory lap.
“Ang diskarte ko talaga ay humataw agad sa first run dahil alam kong ang mga kasamahan ko sa national team ay nasa kondisyon. Pagpasok sa bike ay totodo na ako para sa final run ay hindi na ako mahirapan,” said Catiil, silver medalist in the recent Asian Duathlon Championship in Subic.
The Cagayan de Oro pride negotiated the 10-k run, 40-k bike and 5-k run distance in one hour, 53 minutes and 30 seconds, anchored on a 1:02:47 performance in the bike leg, to claim his second title after topping the second leg.
He netted P5,000 for ruling the final leg, which featured a total of 190 duathletes pitting skills in an out-and-back course at the Quirino Grandstand.
Javier who was a second faster than Catiil after the first run but got left behind by two and a half minutes in the bike leg, settled for second place with 1:55:01 while another national player August Benedicto took third with 1:55:18.
Javier and Benedicto consoled themselves with P4,000 and P3,000, respectively.
“Masaya ako sa taong ito dahil maganda ang naipakita ko sa mga sinalihan kong triathlon and duathlon events. Sa ngayon ay pahinga muna pero next year ay mas magpupursigi ako dahil gusto kong mapasama sa Asian Games,” Catiil said.