Prado gives PH third cycling gold

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    Jermyn Prado delivered the Philippines’ third gold medal in cycling by ruling the women’s individual time trial on Thursday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

    Prado, 26, clocked 44 minutes, 44.742 seconds in the 23.1-kilometer event from Nasugbu, Batangas to the Praying Monument in Tagaytay City to win the gold by four seconds.

    Luo Yiwei of Singapore settled for silver in 44:48.518 while Somrat Phetdarin of Thailand grabbed the bronze in 44:58.152.

    Lea Denise Belgira and John Derick Farr had earlier given the Philippines the mountain bike downhill titles.

    “I gave my all. It was too hard, but our sacrifices paid off. I’m happy,” said Prado, a native of Pagbilao, Quezon native and a member of the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance cycling team.

    Prado and teammate Marella Salamat nearly failed to start the race, according to competition manager Lorenzo Lomibao, after technical officials said their triathlon bikes didn’t meet the standards. But the competition’s panel of commissaires later allowed the two to race provided two contraptions located below the handle bars and under the frame were fixed.

    Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president and Philcycling chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and cycling patron Ernesto “Judes” Echauz also interceded on behalf of the two riders.

    “We nearly didn’t get to start the race. They said we should use road bikes. Our bikes were for triathlon but we managed to find a way to race,” said Prado.

    Prado will again compete anew in the women’s massed start on Friday.