SEA Games 2023: Gretel De Paz delivers kickboxing gold for PH
PHNOM PENH—Gretel De Paz unleashed a flurry of accurate hits to subdue Indonesia’s Ndapataka Susanti, 3-0, in kickboxing on Tuesday evening at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
By the end of the final round, there was little doubt that the 31-year-old pro boxer won’t bring home the women’s low kick -56kg gold medal.
De Paz redeemed herself from a silver finish last year in Hanoi after picking up the contact sport in the same year.
“The transition from pure boxing to kickboxing wasn’t easy. It took time before I really got used to it. This gold is the result of all the hard work and sacrifice,” said De Paz.
It was the second gold medal for Team Philippines in kickboxing after Jean Claude Saclag’s victory in the men’s low kick -63.5kg division on Monday night.
Saclag spared no effort in mauling Cambodian San Rakim for a 3-0 win on the way to his third straight gold in these Games.
The 28-year-old pride of Kalinga earlier defeated Dimitri Kyttanasilalack of Laos, 3-0, in the semifinals on the way to defending the titles he captured back to back in 2022 Hanoi and in the 2019 edition in Manila.