Jeremy Pacatiw’s kickboxing silver wraps up PH’s SEA Games 2023 campaign
PHNOM PENH—Jeremy Pacatiw closed out the Philippine campaign at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games here with a silver medal in kickboxing.
The 27-year-old Pacatiw dropped his gold-medal encounter in the men’s K1 -67kg category against Vietnamese Van Chinh Hoang, 0-3, on Tuesday evening at the Elephant Hall of the Morodok Techo National Stadium.
Claudine Veloso’s victory an hour earlier in the women’s K1 -52kg class was the final gold medal for Filipino athletes, who will go home with 58 gold, 87 silver and 115 bronze medals at fifth behind overall champion Vietnam’s harvest of 136 golds, 104 silvers and 114 bronzes.
Thailand wound up a distant second with 108 gold, 94 silver and 107 bronze medals while Indonesia checked in at third (85-81-107) followed by host Cambodia’s haul of 80-73-126 before the 11-nation sports fest officially comes to a close on Wednesday.
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.
Meanwhile, the Philippine women’s floorball team also reached the podium with a bronze finish prior to Pacatiw’s silver.