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PH now unreachable as tennis, rowing, taekwondo deliver golds

BY NICK GIONGCO

 

Margielyn Didal

Margielyn Didal

CAPAS, Tarlac – It rained gold medals for the Philippines during the first half of Saturday with taekwondo, rowing  and tennis joining the growing list of winners while Marge Didal scooped her second skating top finish as well in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that is being played mostly in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.

On top and seemingly unreachable with four competition days remaining in the 11-nation sportsfest, the host has a tally of 80 gold medals as of 3:30 p.m.

In contrast, closest pursuer Indonesia only has a 42 production while Vietnam has 39.

With taekwondo starting to give away medals, Rodolfo Reyes and Jocel Lyn Ninubla ruled in the individual poomsae while rowing also delivered the same number courtesy of Joanie Delgaco and Melcah Caballero in the lightweight female doubles sculls and Cris Nievarez winning in the lightweight single sculls in Subic Bay.

Daniela Dela Pisa wows the crowd with her near-flawless performance. Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II)

Daniela Dela Pisa wows the crowd with her near-flawless performance. Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II)

Daniela Dela Pisa shone in rhythmic gymnastics after winning in the women’s hoop event.

In canoe-kayak, veteran internationalist Hermie Macaranas captured the gold in the singles 200 meters also in Subic Bay.

Didal, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gold medalist, showed who’s the boss in street skateboarding following her first gold in the Game of SKATE a few days ago in Manila.

It was another 1-2 windup for the host entries as Christiana Means got the silver, the second time they wound up first and second following their similar finish last Thursday.

Also winning was the duo of Francis Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon overpowered the veteran pair of Fil-Ams Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, 7-6 (2), 7-5, in all All-Filipino doubles final to win tennis’ first gold.

While gold medals came pouring, Fil-Am Kristina Knott turned the tracks at the newly-built stadium at the New Clark City in flames after a fast and furious run in the 200-meter heats.

Clocking 23.07 seconds in the first of two heats, Knott earned a spot during Saturday’s finals alongside two Thais and two Vietnamese and one each from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Jocel Lyn Ninobla wins the reconized women's poomsae gold. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

Jocel Lyn Ninobla wins the reconized women’s poomsae gold. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

Knott is expected to win the gold but what’s most important is if she can at least do 22.80 so the product of the University of Miami can secure an automatic spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The SEAG also serves as an opportunity for some elite athletes to earn Olympic berths with Singapore and Vietnam already taking advantage with impressive times in swimming.

Swimming is again holding final events but Singapore and Vietnam are out to gobble up the gold medals with the rest scrambling for scraps.

A potential second gold can be had on Sunday when James Deiparine returns in the 50-meter breaststroke after winning Philippine swimming’s first gold in a decade last Wednesday.

Boxing takes a much-needed break and will resume Sunday with key semifinal bouts as the remaining bets of the Philippine team aim to make it all the way to the gold medal bouts following the exit of light-heavyweight John  Marvin and bantam Ian Clark Bautista in the men’s and Aira Villegas in the women’s.

In basketball, the Gilas men’s team crushed Vietnam, 110-69, late Friday to remain on course for another cage title in the sport they have held with an iron hand.

Myanmar is expected to get bowled over when the PBA-powered Gilas team and the lowly team tangle late Saturday.

The women’s side, though not as fancied as the men’s, is still in the hunt but faces a brick wall in defending champion Malaysia on Sunday.

 

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