JAKARTA—Still not in perfect health but with a fighting heart that canceled that out, Asian Games rookie Agatha Wong delivered a wushu performance for the bronze that highlighted a bleak day for Team Philippines in the 18th edition of this continental showcase on Monday.
As Filipinos stumbled by the wayside in several fronts, the 20-year-old Wong scored 19.36 points in the women’s combined taijiquan and taijijian events for the country’s third bronze medal that came a day after the men’s and women’s poomsae trios finished third also at GBK’s Taekwondo Hall.
“This is definitely the highlight of my year,” said Wong, who came over with patellar tendonitis in her right knee. She scored 9.68 points in each of the events. “I was so nervous in the first event because I was running fifth.”
Lindswell of Indonesia pocketed the gold with an effort of 19.50, with Mok Yueng Juanita of Hong Kong settling for the silver at 19.42.
“I had to make sure that I gave out an impressive performance in the second discipline to have a chance,” added Wong, who won gold in the Southeast Asian Games last year. “I had a difficult time bending because of my tendonitis. But I feel relieved that it’s all over now and all the hard work paid off.”
That medal sort of made up for sorry finishes in several sports, counting shooting where Hagen Topacio finished dead last in the men’s trap event over at Jakabaring Complex in Palembang, and the joint sixth place finishes of John Derrick Farr and Leah Belgira in the men’s and women’s mountain bike’s downhill race compounding the heartaches.
Topacio, after qualifying for the final round with in fifth spot just a point behind a four-way tie, couldn’t put it together when it all mattered, shooting just 18 points and finishing sixth and last in the medal round.
Chinese Taipei’s Yang Kunpi scooped up his country’s first gold with a 48-point effort, with Lakshay Lakshay of India checking in second with 43 and South Korea’s Ahn Daemyong securing the bronze with 30 points.
Jasmine Alkhaldi finished seventh in the 200-meter women’s breaststroke finals at the Aquatics Center at GBK, clocking 56.29 seconds to be more than three seconds behind champion Ikee Rikako of Japan.
Rikako timed 53.27 seconds and established a new Games record, beating two Chinese in the process. Zhu Menghui was second at 53.56, with Yang JunXuan pocketing the bronze at 54.17.
Farr and Belgira, a couple of 22-year-old rookies, rued the lack of practice on the course for their failure to collect podium finishes.
“Had we ridden the course several times, we could have performed better,” Farr said.
Anticipation is rising as Jordan Clarkson debuts for Gilas Pilipinas in the 4 p.m. (5 p.m. in Manila) clash with heavy favorite China in the basketball competitions, even as the women’s volleyball team tries to bounce back from a sound beating at the hands of Thailand when it slugs it out with another regional force in Japan also at 4 p.m.
The Blu Girls notched a second straight win in softball, turning back South Korea, 5-3, but will be colliding with powerhouse China at 8 p.m. to complete their double header Monday. Team PH’s first win came Sunday night, a 7-0 destruction of Hong Kong.
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