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Poomsae, judo win golds

KUALA LUMPUR – Fil-Japanese Kiyomi Watanabe retained her judo title, a feat matched by the men’s poomsae squad as the Philippines picked up two gold medals Saturday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

Watanabe who turned 21 Friday made short work of Orapin Senatham of Thailand to win her third straight gold in as many Games appearances.

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In a repeat of their title showdown two years ago in Singapore, Watanabe wasted little time to send her opponent on the canvas and force the win in two minutes and 36 seconds.

In taekwondo, the men’s poomsae team matched Watanabe’s third straight title.

Dustin Jacob Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. earned 8.40 points to edge Malaysia and Vietnam in the non-sparring event of taekwondo.

Dustin Jacob is a 22-year-old business economics graduate of University of the Philippines-Diliman, Raphael Enrico is a 21-year-old third year computer science student of De La Salle University while Reyes is a 22-year-old education student of University of Santo Tomas.

The Filipinos performed two poomsae forms – the Taegeuk 8 and the Sipjin – and came out ahead of their rivals.

The women’s team of Jocelyn Ninobla, Juvenille Faye Crisostomo and Rinna Babanto took the bronze behind Vietnam and Thailand.

With more final events to be held in the evening, the Philippines now has 17 golds, 24 silvers and 42 bronzes.

The Philippines picked up silvers in tennis, lawn bowls and equestrian.

In the women’s singles final, Ana Clarice Patrimonio won only one game against top seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand, 0-6, 1-6, to settle for the silver medal.

Kumkhum, who once ranked 89th in the world, showed too much class and experience over the unseeded Filipino who upset fourth seed Andrea Ka, 7-6 (6-5), 7-6 (6-5), in the semifinals Friday.

“Medyo ninerbyos po ako sa dami ng tao. Pero masaya na rin dahil naka silver,” said Patrimonio, the only Filipino to reach the individual finals.

The netters finished their campaign with two silvers and two bronzes.

Lawn bowls produced its third silver for the country through Marcelito Pancho and Angelo Morales who finished second in men’s pairs.

Another silver came in equestrian when Chiana Sophia, Joker Arroyo, Marie Antoinette Leviste and Collins Syquia placed second behind Malaysia in the show jumping team event.

Meanwhile, Fil-Americans Trenten Anthony Beram and Eric Cray pulled out of the 4 x 400-meter relay team set to run later in the day at the National Stadium.