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PH bags 2 golds in golf

 

By NICK GIONGCO

 

JAKARTA – A pall of gloom that was hanging over the country’s campaign in the 2018 Asian Games vanished Sunday afternoon when Fil-Japanese golfer Yuka Saso shot her way to gold medals in the women’s individual and team event.

As the Philippines struggled to re-enact the celebration brought about by Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal in weightlifting early last week, Saso, 17, roared to a dramatic finish in the individual event.

Saso’s endgame brilliance also towed the PH women’s team to the gold.

Bianca Pagdangan, who wound up with the bronze in the individual, will share the top honors with Saso and Lois Kaye Go.
The two golds were the Philippines first in golf in 32 years after Ramon Brobio hit paydirt during the 1986 edition in Seoul.

From a lowly 24th before golf’s sudden surge, the Philippines found itself occupying 14th spot with a collection of three golds and 10 bronzes with host Indonesia at fifth (12-12-19) and Thailand (9-8-30) at seventh.

Saso and the women’s team’s triumph came moments after boxing, which has a solid track record in the Asian Games, saw its fourth fighter go down in the preliminaries.

Lightweight James Palicte was outpointed, 5-0, by Shunkor Abdurasulov of Uzbekistan.

But veteran fly Rogen Ladon put a stop to the bleeding by outclassing Nepali Chaudary Prem, 5-0, during the evening sessions.
Ladon suffered a cut on the right eyebrow from a left landed by Chaudary in the third round.

Still, Ladon did enough to earn the verdict to regain boxing’s winning ways after a shaky start.

Irish Magno was set to fight later Sunday.

Earlier, welter Joel Bacho, Nesthy Petecio, a solid gold medal bet, and bantam Mario Fernandez were sent packing.
An obscure sport, pencak silat, rose to the occasion and finally won two bronzes, the sport’s first in the Asian Games, courtesy of Dines Dumaan and Jefferon Looy.

Earlier, marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, the pride and joy of Southeast Asia, managed to land 11th out of 19 entries with a clocking of 2 hours 51 minutes and 41 seconds, way below her personal best of 2:48.26.

The Cebu-bred Tabal, 29, complained of the humidity in the event topped by Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo (2:34.51). The silver went to Japanese Keiko Nogami (2:36.27) and the bronze to North Korea’s Kim Hye Song (2:37.20).

The other bronzes were provided by taekwondo (three), wushu (two), BMX cycling (one) and jiu-jitsu (one).

In Incheon four years ago, the Philippines took just one gold medal, three silvers and 11 bronze medals.
With golf’s unexpected production, the Philippines has now surpassed its previous showing of one gold, three silver and 11 bronzes four years ago in Incheon and looks poised to bulk up in the second half of the competitions.

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