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SIX TRIATHLETES TO REP GUAM IN PNG

The Guam Triathlon Federation will be sending six athletes, three males and three females, to compete in the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Professional athlete Cameron O’neal will be leading the team as they prepare to handle the Papua New Guinea weather.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam Triathlon Federation sent six athletes, three males and three females, to compete in the Pacific Games which will be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Triathletes will compete for individual and team medals in the 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run in a flat road course to take place next week. Team Guam will be up against Oceania’s best athletes which will include pro athletes from powerhouse New Caledonia and Tahiti.

Professional XTERRA triathlete Cameron O’Neal will lead the talented group as they take on the best in the region with Rose Munoz managing the group.

O’Neal’s wife, Karly O’Neal will also compete in the women’s team. The roster includes:

Men
Cameron O’Neal
Patrick Camacho
Peter Lombard

Women
Karly O’Neal
Mylene Garcia
Ayshalynn Perez

Manager
Rose Munoz

Patrick Camacho, who has competed in PNG for the Pacific National Triathlon Championships in August 2013, said that about half of the team has been to Port Moresby before.

“It’s a little cooler than Guam, we just have to adjust with the water temperatures,” said Camacho. He also said that the wind will be a factor with PNG packing winds of up to 20-25 mph.

They will use their previous experience in PNG to help prepare for the temperatures.

“This will actually be my first Pacific Games, I’ve been to events before but nothing like this.”

Team Guam after a sprint series race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

Team Guam after a sprint series race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

New Addition

Ayshalynn Perez, who is currently attending college in Washington, was tapped a month ago to go to the Pacific Games after a female triathlete was forced to withdraw due to an injury.

“Yes, it’s unfortunate that we lost a great team member, but we replaced her with Ayshalynn. Ayshalynn is excited to be going to the Games and she will be joining us in PNG,” said Munoz.

As soon as Perez got word that she was to be a part of the team, she immediately stepped up her training.

“It was a roller coaster ride but I’ve been training year round for many events. I was told about a month out from the Games that I would be going to PNG and immediately started to train,” said Perez.

“Being a part of team Guam is such a surreal feeling. I’ve been to other competitions before but this event is special because we are going to be with all the other athletes,” said Perez.

“I’m super excited for the Games, I’ve been working so hard. We don’t have the luxury of the other athletes from other countries because they don’t have to go to work like we do. Despite that, we are super motivated and we definitely do our best to represent Guam,” said Camacho.

According to Camacho, the race will start at a harbor with the men’s team starting at 8 am followed by the women’s team at 10 am. “We will be diving off a platform into the harbor instead of running into to the water, so we have been practicing how to dive.”

The team has already started their journey to PNG and will be the first to arrive. Perez will join the squad a day later and will fly straight from Washington to PNG.

Check www.guamsportnetwork.com for updates on their progress.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Mylene Garcia riding through Guam on bike in preparation for the games. (courtesy photo)

Mylene Garcia riding through Guam on bike in preparation for the games. (courtesy photo)

Karly Oneal after a sprint series race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

Karly O’Neal after a sprint series race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

Peter Lombard during the run portion of a sprint series triathlon race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

Peter Lombard during the run portion of a sprint series triathlon race in Piti. (courtesy photo)

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