Team PH snares 5 golds, but drops to 7th overall
SINGAPORE—Triathlete Nikko Huelgas, wushu artist Daniel Parantac and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe came through with golden feats along with the celebrated Philippine Volcanoes and the billiards team to fuel the Philippine medal machine Sunday in the 28th Southeast Asian Games here.
Huelgas, a 23-year-old commercial model, began the day with a victory in men’s triathlon, stamping his class on the rain-soaked course at the East Coast Park here with a time of two hours, four minutes and 32 seconds that completed a sweep for the country of the swim-bike-run event.
Fellow triathlete Claire Adorna seized the first gold for the Filipinos in the women’s side the other day.
By midday, it was the turn of Parantac to shine, tallying 9.71 points in the men’s optional taijijian to redeem himself from an earlier controversial silver finish with Norlence Catolico and John Keithley Chan in the duel weapons event held at the Expo Hall.
The Fil-Japanese Watanabe, last year’s Asian junior champion, scored an ippon at the 3:36 mark to overwhelm Senatham Orapin of Thailand in the women’s 57-63 kg finals.
Over at the Coa Chu Kang Stadium, the Volcanoes erupted with a 24-7 win over Malaysia to complete a sweep of the men’s rugby 7s gold. It was an improvement from the country’s silver performance in 2007 in Thailand.
And cue artists Carlo Biado and Warren Kiamco delivered as expected by topping the men’s 9-ball doubles after holding off a furious rally by Vietnam’s Do Hoang Quan and Anh Tuan Nguyen to prevail, 9-6, at OCBC Arena.
Counting Adorna’s victory, the Philippines increased its collection to six golds but dropped to seventh overall behind Burma (Myanmar) as the 2013 host rallied with victories in sepak takraw, canoeing, traditional boat race and wushu.
Filipino sports officials have predicted a fierce battle against Burma for the country to rise from the depths of a seventh-place performance two years ago.
Mary Joy Tabal kicked off the Philippine track and field campaign with a silver in women’s marathon after Eduardo Buenavista failed to reach the medal podium in the men’s side by coming in fifth.
The 25-year-old Tabal clocked three hours, four minutes and 39 seconds in the race won by Thailand’s Nattaya Thannaronnawat (3:03.25).
Buenavista, who won the event in 2009 in Laos, complained of a bum stomach and finished in 2:39.26.
Filipino-Japanese Kiyomi Watanabe ended a fruitful day for the Philippines after retaining her title in judo.
Fencers Nathaniel Perez, Louie Brennan Wayne and Wilfred Richard Curioso concluded their stint with a silver medal after Singapore downed the Philippines, 45-40, in the men’s team foil.
Swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Joshua Hall produced the first pair of medals in the pool—a couple of bronzes in the women’s 50-meter butterfly and men’s 100m breaststroke at the OCBC Aquatics Center.
The 21-year-old London Olympian clocked 24.47 seconds for a podium finish.
Hall, 24, time one minute and 2.84 seconds, just a fraction of a second from the gold won by Wong Fu Kang of Malaysia (1:02.46) and Matjir Radomyos of Thailand (1:02.63).
Another swim bronze came from Roxanne Ashley Yu, who timed 2:18.45 in the women’s 200 backstroke.
Singapore continued to charge up the medal standings with 25 golds, 20 silvers and 36 bronzes. Vietnam (21-7-19) moved up to second, followed by Thailand (20-24-19).
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