FLASHING the form that has made him a strong candidate for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Allen Santiago ruled the 13-15 division of the 2011 Speedo Super Tri Kids Multi Sport Festival last Sunday at the Narra Park of the Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.

Santiago, 14, paced himself in the swim leg at La Salle Alabang before turning on the heat in the bike and run legs to turn back the challenge of Justine Kyle Mapalo and Marco Pile for the gold medal in the race organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines in cooperation with Ayala Alabang Village Association.

I really want to represent the country in the Youth Olympic Games, that’s why I try to keep on improving every race, said Santiago, an incoming fourth year high school student at Letran who also won a gold medal in the Singapore duathlon mini-sprint race last Jan. 23.

I paced myself in the swimming (leg), preparing for a big show in the bike (leg) because I knew I was in control, added Santiago, who negotiated the 300-m swim, 6K bike and 2.5K run event in 38 minutes and 30 seconds.

Also supported by Speedo, Century Tuna, Fitness First, David Salon, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission, the event attracted 135 participants, half of them seeing action in the STK.

The race was marred by an accident in the bike leg, with organizers assuring everyone that improvements will be put in place to avoid a repeat.

We are happy with the turnout, with our focus on the 13-15 age-group from where our bets for the YOG will come from. A minor accident happened but we will map out plans to further improve the race course, especially in the bike route, to address the safety of the participants, said TRAP president Tom Carrasco Jr.