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PH wrestler wins bronze medal

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – Alvin Lobreguito gave the Philippines its first medal after he settled for a bronze following his semifinal defeat in traditional wrestling in the 5th edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) at the Ashgabat Olympic Stadium here.

Lobreguito lost to host nation’s Ýakupnazar Yakubow, 4-0, in the 57kg freestyle, but with four entries in the division, the Filipino fighter was already assured of a bronze even before the start of the match.

Although he was aspiring of making it to the final round, Yakubow overpowered Lobreguito in just 30 seconds to the delight of about 5,000 crowd that cheered their countryman.

Even with the setback, Lobreguito is expected to receive P400,000 for earning a bronze medal from the government, through the Philippine Sports Commissione (PSC).

The other Filipino fighters, Noemi Tener, Johnny Morte and Grace Loberanes, likewise lost in the quarterfinal round of this multi-sports event organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Tener lost to Ambreen Masih of Pakistan, 4-1, in the 58kg, Loberanes dropped her match against Lacyn Badaglyyewa of Turkmenistan, 5-0, in 52kg, while Morte fell to Turkman Döwletgeldi Berdiyew, 5-0, in the 68kg.

Competitions in both the traditional wrestling as well as in jiu-jitsu started Saturday ahead of the opening ceremony Sunday afternoon at the main stadium of this world-class facility – featuring a monorail inside – that the Turkmen finished in 2016.

The jiu-jitsu fighters, however, had the luxury of rest for one day after their schedules in their respective categories were moved to Monday, with the draw set Sunday evening.