SEA Games: Filipino muay fighters deliver double gold
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Phillip Delarmino finally found the most precious commodity in his career while Ariel Lee Lampacan’s patience paid off as they delivered a pair gold medals on Sunday in muay at the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Skillful and wily, Delarmino used his veteran smarts atop the ring to outpoint Nguyen Doan Long in the men’s 57kg, ending a series of bridesmaid finishes since the 2013 edition of the 11-nation sportsfest in Myanmar.
Lampa, meanwhile, calmly measured the prowess of Thailand’s Chamchit Sakchai before connecting with solid punches in the face during the final two rounds to rule the men’s 54kg category.
“It feels good to finally become a champion,’’ said the 29-year-old Delarmino in Filipino as he raised both fists in the air to the adoring crowd at the Subic Bay Exhibit and Convention Center here.
After a silver finish in 2013 Myanmar, Delarmino again claimed the same medal color in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan and another silver in the East Asian Muay Championships in Hong Kong early this year.
While Delarmino asserted his mastery from start to finish, Lampacan had to chase down the cocky Sakchai for the needed points to capture his third gold medal this year. Lampacan, 21, won the East Asian Muay Championships and another prestigious meet in Mexico this year.
Ryan Jakiri nearly made it a triple-gold performance for the Pinoy muay fighters, but fell to Khundam Norapat of Thailand in the men’s 63.5kg.
Leading in the scorecards after the first round, Jakiri was hit by Norapat’s left knee in the stomach and fell on all fours with still one minute and 26 seconds to go in the second round.
The referee waived Jakiri out after a standing eight count, rewarding the Thai with a referee stop contest win.
Jenelyn Olsim (women’s 54kg) and Islay Erika Bomogao (women’s 45kg) also settled for silver medals with Jakiri after falling prey to the taller Bui Yen Ly of Vietnam and Thai Chasing Ketmanee, respectively.
The national muay team finished its campaign with three golds, four silvers and two bronzes.