Philippine triathlon suffered a big blow after its top bet for the Guangzhou Asian Games in November resigned from the national team to pursue a new challenge – being an Ironman.

Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) president Tom Carrasco on Thursday said Neil Catiil, a 25-year-old recruit from Cagayan de Oro, opted to focus on training and competing in long-distance races such as the Ironman.

“He’s been with the team for three years. He’s a very promising athlete, but he wanted to pursue long-distance races and we respect that,” said Carrasco.

In his three years with the RP team, Catiil’s biggest accomplishment was winning the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Singapore race and finishing second in the Asian Aquathlon Championships last year.

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