SEA Games 2023: Philippines kicks off arnis competition with two golds
PHNOM PENH—Charlotte Ann Tolentino and Jedah Mae Soriano pulled off a double-gold effort on the first day of arnis competitions on Sunday evening at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
Tolentino trounced Myanmar’s Moe Moe Aye, 2-0, in the finals of the women’s full contact padded stick bantamweight class while Soriano topped the lightweight division of the same discipline with a 2-0 triumph over Cambodia’s Suon Heangsela.
Soriano defeated Vietnam’s Thi Hong Nhung Dao in the semifinals, 2-0, and Tolentino got the better of Cambodia’s Peou Moonrila, 2-0, in their round-of-four clash at the Chroy Changvar Convention Hall here.
A total of 12 golds are at stake in arnis, the country’s national sport headed by Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Four events in the full contact live stick discipline are scheduled for Monday where the Filipino arnisadors are expected to dominate.
The contributions of Tolentino and Soriano pushed the Philippine output to 46 gold medals, 70 silvers and 84 bronzes, overtaking Singapore at fifth place with two more days left prior to the closing ceremonies on Wednesday.
Vietnam continued to rule over the field with 104 golds, 80 silvers and 106 bronzes while Thailand remained at second overall with a haul of 84 gold, 68 silver and 83 bronze medals followed by Cambodia (63-55-99) and Indonesia (65-57-79).
Filipino athletes can still increase their harvest with competitions in judo, weightlifting, kickboxing, wrestling, taekwondo and arnis over the next two days.