Youngest PH triathlete sells cookies to finance world championship bid

Published: September 5, 2019 11:22am | PHILIPPINES


She is the youngest to represent the Philippines to the toughest triathlete competition in the world.
But for 20-year old Madeleine Jeanne Argosino, her simple athletic dream was just to run races and nothing else.
Her participation to this year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Sept. 7 is therefore a validation that she can be capable of anything if she will just put her heart into it.

Madeleine Jeanne Argosino jogs around the University of the Philippines-Los Banos campus. The 20-year old junior development communication student from UPLB is the Philippines’ youngest triathlete to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France on Sept. 7.

“What I wanted before was just to tag along with my elder brother every time he practiced. He is the first triathlete in the family,” said Madeleine, known to her circles as Madel.

At six, Madel was already running races. Her parents and the rest of the family were supportive of her. When she won in last year’s Alveo 70.3 Ironman in Davao City, Madel was pictured being kissed in the cheek by her mother, a businesswoman.

Madeleine Jeanne Argosino saddles up for her biking practice around the University of the Philippines-Los Banos campus. The 20-year old junior development communication student from UPLB is the Philippines’ youngest triathlete to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France on Sept. 7.

The Argosino patriarch who works for a pharmaceutical company also dabbles in sports, said Madel. He occasionally plays golf with colleagues and friends, she said. Her athletic talent blossomed in full bloom however when she decided to start practicing as a triathlete. It just dawned upon her that she can follow the strides, pedals and strokes of her brother, now currently working in the hotel industry.

“My brother influenced me to do triathlon,” she recalled. When she turned 15, Madel was already on her way to becoming a triathlete to reckon with.

Madeleine Jeanne Argosino poses on her bike during a break in practice. The 20-year old junior development communication student from UPLB is the Philippines’ youngest triathlete to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France on Sept. 7.

After lording over her division in the Davao triathlon event in March of 2018, Madel made her international debut at the 70.3 Ironman Langkawi in Malaysia later that year.
The year before that, she was second in the Durianman event also in Davao.
“It felt very overwhelming considering that I am racing against foreign competitors, considered elite in the division,” Madel recounted.

The young lass from Los Banos, Laguna did not disappoint as she emerged second in her division in the Langkawi event.
This was her qualifier to next month’s biggest test yet.
“It will be a tough test on me because the terrain is steep and mountainous. Also the climate there is colder than my previous competitions. And it’s the world championships so you expect to face the best of the best triathletes,” Madel said, adding she and her father will leave for the French Alpine city on Sept. 1 so there will be enough time for her to acclimatize.

Madel will compete in the 18-24 year-old division. As she prepares for the toughest fight of her athletic dream, Madel juggles her time practicing, studying and making brownie cookies and selling these so she can have enough money to send her to Nice, France.

As part of her training regimen, she drinks Yamang Bukid turmeric 10-in-1 tea. “I felt relieved every time I drink this,” Madel said as she gulped down a cup of the food supplement tea after a swimming practice at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos (UPLB) swimming pool recently.

She said the drink also helped her cope with her academics as it helped her in memorization and other school-related activities.
“I want to write or become a journalist,” the junior development communications student at UPLB said.
(JL)


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