PH’s 4 Southeast Asian rivals land in medal tableBy Artemio T. Engracia Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LONDON—While the luckless Philippine delegation continues to founder in the rough Olympic waters, four of its Southeast Asian neighbors have managed to sail into the medal standings halfway through the 30th Olympic Games here.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and even Singapore have won at least a medal each going into the final week of the Games.
Indonesia has collected two medals—a silver and a bronze—while Malaysia and Thailand have a silver each and Singapore has one bronze.
“All is not lost yet,” said Manny Lopez, the chief of mission who is pinning PH’s last hope for a medal on BMX rider Daniel Caluag.
Following Mark Anthony Barriga’s controversial loss in light flyweight boxing on Saturday, only two other Filipinos are left in the Games. They are Marestella Torres in long jump and Rene Herrea in the 5,000 meters.
Torres and Herrera are not given much of a chance, not even to get past the preliminary rounds, but at least they get to perform on the London Games’ biggest stage, the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.
“We haven’t lost hope yet. At least we’re still fighting on three fronts,” Lopez said. The last time a Filipino went up the Olympic podium was when boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. won a silver in Atlanta in 1996.
Winning medals has not been much of a problem for other Southeast Asian countries, though.
Indonesia’s silver here came from weightlifter Triyatno Triyatno, who came back from a bad snatch to raise 188 kilograms in the clean and jerk for a total of 333 kg. Romania’s Razvan Constantin Martin settled for bronze with 332 while China’s Lin Qingfeng took the gold with a 344 total.
The second place finish in the 69 kg class was an improvement of the Indonesian’s bronze medal finish in the 62 kg division in Beijing in 2008, which was Indonesia’s first weightlifting medal in 60 years.
Indonesia’s other medal, a bronze, also came from weightlifting in the 62 kg division as Irawan Eko Yuli raised a total of 317 kg. He was tied at that total with Oscar Alberto Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia, but the Colombian won the silver on the basis of his 177-kg effort in the clean and jerk, which was an Olympic record.
Malaysia, which has a total of two silver and two bronze medals in the Olympics, came tantalizingly close on Sunday to winning its first gold in 14 appearances in the Olympics when Lee Chong Wei battled China’s Lin Dan in the men’s badminton finals.
Lee took the first set, 21-15, but lost the second, 10-21. He was leading, 19-18, in the third set and was two points away from the title when the Chinese won three points in a row to snatch the gold.
The 30-year-old righthander had been the losing singles finalist in he the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the 2011 world championship in London.
Thailand, the most bemedalled Southeast Asian country in the Olympics having won a total of 21 medals, including 7 golds, since it joined the Olympics in Helsinki in 1952, also has one silver here.
Pimsiri Sirikaew was second in the women’s 58 kg in weightlifting with a 236-kg total, behind China’s Li Xueying, who set Olympic records in the snatch (108 kg) and the total (246 kg).
Thailand’s seven gold medals in the Olympics have all come from boxing (4) and women’s weightlifting (3).
Singapore’s bronze was courtesy of China-born Feng Tianwei in women’s singles in table tennis.