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Boxer stays in gold hunt


By Nick Giongco


JAKARTA – Skateboarding, a sport that will make its debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, pencak silat and the ever-reliable boxing, took the spotlight for the Philippines on Wednesday in the 2018 Asian Games.

Margie Didal, who used to cut classes just to engage in her hobby, made a head-turning performance in the street event by beating Japanese Isa Kaya and Indonesian Bungas Nyimas during competitions held in Palembang.

Didal, 19, got 30.4 points for the gold while Kaya was handed 25 points to settle for the silver and Nyimas grabbed the bronze with 19.8 points.

A pencak silat bronze was also added to the growing collection of the Philippines earlier in the day, thanks to Almodaidib Abad in the men’s singles, pencak’s fourth following three other bronzes.

With Didal’s feat, the Philippines now has a decent haul of four golds and 13 bronzes, a tally that puts it at 16th place, just behind host and fourth Indonesia (27-22-33), tenth-place Thailand (9-13-34) and 14th Malaysia (4-8-9).

China is lording over the quadrennial sportsfest with 100 gold, a far second is Japan with 49 and Korea, third with 36.

The other golds by the Philippines were delivered by lifter Hidilyn Diaz, golfer Yuka Saso and the women’s golf team while the others bronzes aside from pencak’s four, were provided by taekwondo (three), wushu (two) and one apiece from BMX cycling, jiu-jitsu, golf and karate.

In the ring, the Filipino fighters have been assured of two bronze medals after light-fly Carlo Palaam fashioned out a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan’s Termitas Zhussupov on Wednesday afternoon, to join fly Rogen Ladon in the semis that gets going Friday.

A third Filipino, middle Eumir Felix Marcial, was slated to fight at 7 p.m. of Wednesday with a win assuring himself as well of a bronze.
“My opponent was a veteran and I had to give everything I had,” said Paalam, 20, who was ten years younger than the crafty Kazakh.
Paalam will face Amit Panghal of India in the semifinals following his 5-0 win over Kin Jang Ryong of North Korea.