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PH wins 23rd gold

KUALA LUMPUR – John Colin Syquia flew his horse 36 hours to get here, but needed only 37.63 seconds in the jump-off to win the gold medal in show jumping in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Monday.

Syquia, born in New York but based in Florida, won the individual show jumping following a five-man jump-off at the 3Q Equestrian Center in Rawang, about 30 kilometers south of the Malaysian capital.

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Syquia, a 46-year-old horse dealer, made six clear rounds aboard Adventure E to get into the jump-off.

Malaysian Christina Sharmini with Arcado finished second in 42.30 seconds followed by compatriot Qabil Ambak Mohd with JQ Qaliya in 41.66 seconds.

The other Filipino entries were Marie Antoinette Leviste with Loribri and Chiara Amor with Devenport 2.

Daniella Virata, the team manager, said Syquia’s win came despite the ordeal the horse went through from Florida to New York, Amsterdam, Azerbaijan and finally, to the Malaysian capital.

In squash, the Filipinos stunned powerhouse Malaysia to advance into the team event final set Wednesday at the National Squash Center, KL Sports City.

Robert Andrew Garcia, a 31-year-old professional player, won the first singles against Darren Rahul, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7.

Juan Rafael Yam, a 19-year-old student based in New Zealand, sealed the victory following a 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8 win over Ng Eain Yow.

The women’s team, made up of Jemyca Aribado, Isabelle Gotuaco and Yvonne Alyssa Dali, is already assured of the bronze despite losing to Singapore, 2-1, in the semifinals.

In taekwondo, bantamweight Rhezie Cana Aragon bowed to Mariska Halinda of Indonesia to settle for the silver.

Aragon was the lone Filipino jin who saw action Monday.

Rio Olympian Kirstie Elaine Agora and Francis Aaron Agojo plunge into action Tuesday at the close of taekwondo event.

In petanque, Mary Grace Munar and Angelo Sangalang lost to Sao Sophearann and Duong Dina of Cambodia, 13-1, in the mixed doubles.

The Philippines defeated Cambodia, 2-0, in sepak takraw at the Indoor Stadium Titiwangsa.

On Tuesday, Kathryn Magno sees action in the women’s 500 meters at the start of speed skating.