CNMI now part of World Triathlon

Posted on Oct 27 2021


Participants of the Paupau 5150 Taga Triathlon pose for a group photo before the start of the swim split last Aug. 21 in the waters off Paupau Beach. Inset, Triathlon Association of the CNMI’s Ambet Omampo looks at the results of the World Triathlon Congress voting that saw TRAC voted in as an associate member while live streaming the event Sunday at Majesty Restaurant. (Mark Rabago/Contributed Photo)

Triathlon Association of the CNMI is now an associate member of World Triathlon after it was granted the designation during Sunday’s virtual World Triathlon Congress.

In a vote of member federations, TRAC’s application to become an associate member received 71 yes votes to only one no vote for a 98.61% affirmative vote. There were a total of 83 possible votes, but only 72 World Triathlon members managed to cast ballots.

TRAC secretary general Ricky Castro said becoming an associate member of World Triathlon opens a lot of opportunities for the local triathlon federation to further grow the sport in the CNMI.

“This is one big leap for the sport of triathlon in the CNMI. We can now have full access on the resources of World Triathlon enjoyed by member states,” he said.

TRAC president Manny Sitchon seconded Castro when he said associate membership in World Triathlon will now open a lot of doors for TRAC.

“We immediately were promised technical and financial support. In fact, they are now pushing TRAC to create a project or plan especially for the development of triathlon targeting mostly the women and youth. They are willing to help support the CNMI triathlon federation financially,” he said.

Castro along with other TRAC officials took part in the virtual World Triathlon Congress while streaming the live proceedings at Majesty Restaurant in Garapan. Joining Castro in viewing the virtual congress were Jojo Valencia, Ambet Omampo, Ronald Villafria, Ronnie Santos, Vernice and Andy Estepa, and Rowena Houck. Sitchon wasn’t able to join the proceedings as he is recuperating from minor surgery.

“The CNMI is now officially a part of World Triathlon family and there are a lot of people who made this journey possible. I would like to recognize and thank TRAC officers and board members, Mr. Tom Carrasco of Triathlon Philippines; Noriko Namakura and Shin Otsuka, president of Japan Triathlon Union, who elevated our case to confederation level; Terry Sheldrake of Oceania Triathlon Union; and Mr. Barry Siff, ITU board members who cared to listen and made the case in behalf of the CNMI to the International Triathlon Union executive board all the way to its approval. To ITU secretary general Antonio Arimany, president Jerry Tan of NMASA, and president Michelle Cooper of Oceania Triathlon Union, TRAC is forever grateful!” said Castro.

TRAC’s road to becoming a World Triathlon associate member took more than three years to become reality, according to Castro.

“This was a lengthy process that begun in 2018. When we submitted the last requirements to WT during the first quarter, we were advised beforehand that we may/or may not be accepted as member at WT Congress, but when we got an email advising us of the Congress and saw the 2021 World Triathlon Congress Package and the CNMI was in the agenda, I knew that this is going to happen and this was it.”

On whether becoming a full member of World Triathlon is in its plans, Castro said one criteria of becoming a full-fledged member is the associate member must be part of the International Olympic Committee, which the CNMI currently is not.

“Northern Mariana Islands Olympic recognition is the key and this is something that [the Northern Marianas Sports Association] will come into play and I believe NMASA president Jerry Tan made an initiative to revive the CNMI’s inclusion to the Olympic movement.”

World Triathlon is the international governing body for the multi-sport disciplines of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and other nonstandard variations. World Triathlon hosts the top level international race series the ITU World Triathlon Series and the ITU Triathlon World Cup. It was founded as the International Triathlon Union in April 1, 1989. It officially adopted its new identity of World Triathlon in October 2020 in order to better serve the development of the sport in all its forms in the clearest possible way. It continues to be the only organization that can award the titles of World Triathlon Champions.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.