CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – After winning in one of the prestigious Ironman competitions in the country, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte native Satar Salem is setting his sights on future local and international triathlon races.
Salem won in the men’s 18-24 age group division, with 4:30:56 overall time, in the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu recently.
The Maranao athlete was adjudged as the fastest Filipino to finish the race in his age bracket.
The 22-year-old Salem said his mind was focused on winning this year’s competition.
“That is why we have continuously practiced and prepared ourselves for the race and to test our will and determination if we could run along with other well-known triathletes,” he said.
Salem, who raced under the Tri-SND Barracuda banner, started getting into triathlon racing when he was just 19.
He joined the team on the urging of Sultan Naga Dimaporo Mayor Ulwan Dimaporo, himself a triathlete and sports enthusiast, who is supporting the Tri-SND Barracuda in their trainings and races.
He and teammates at Tri-SND Barracuda had prepared for that race for at least eight months with a series of trainings with the last one spent in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
In Vietnam last year, Salem was ahead in a triathlon competition there but a jellyfish stung him during the swim race. He was able to complete the course despite what happened to him.
For his part, Dimaporo said what the team has achieved in previous triathlon events is the result of years of preparation and believing in the process that each step gradually made will lead to victory for the Tri-SND Barracuda and for the town which the team represented.
The mayor said it was in 2014 during a tournament in Medina, Misamis Oriental, when his team, the Tri-SND, first competed for a triathlon race and later on added the name Barracuda when they joined another event in Dipolog City.
The Tri-SND Barracuda is a team composed of Muslims and Christians from the said town that showcases not only their physical and mental strength but demonstrates unity and harmonious relationship, as well.
The team, he said, started out as an outlet where the youth of Sultan Naga Dimaporo could hone their athletic skills.
Today, the Tri-SND Barracuda team members are joining in sporting events within and outside Lanao del Norte, he added.
He said the victories of Tri-SND Barracuda were achieved through the assistance of Lanao del Norte Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo who has encouraged the province’s youth to development their potentials through sports and other means. (davaotoday.com)