SEA Games 2023: Claudine Veloso adds a third gold to PH kickboxing haul
PHNOM PENH—Claudine Veloso found Vietnam’s Lin Bui Hai, 3-0, an easy target to rule the K1 women’s -52kg category in kickboxing at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
Veloso seized the initiative right at the opening bell and pressed on the attack over the next three rounds in pummeling the Vietnamese with an assortment of punches to the head and body.
“I immediately pounced on her and when she didn’t react aggressively, I knew I had to give everything I had,” said Veloso after snatching the third gold for the PH kickboxing squad in these Games.
Earlier, Gretel De Paz unleashed a flurry of accurate hits to subdue Indonesia’s Ndapataka Susanti, 3-0, and pocket the women’s low kick -56kg gold medal at the Elephant Hall of the Morodok Techo National Stadium here.
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 the 31-year-old De Paz.
Jean Claude Saclag kicked off the string of victories by topping the men’s low kick -63.5kg division on Monday night.
Saclag spared no effort in mauling his 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.