HANOY — The Philippines continued its gold medal output decline on Thursday, with little known Japanese-born judokas and a bunch of young bowlers saving days for the country at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here.
Rena Furukawa reigned supreme in the women’s 57-kg event in the absence of top sports stars such as Olympian Kiyomi Watanabe. Furukawa competed in his second SEA Games since 2019, when he finished with a bronze medal.
The resurgence of bowling in the biennial game continued on Thursday as the men’s team ruled the “funniest” event for its second gold medal of the tournament.
“We are very happy. It was fun to win the team event, “said Marvin Tan, who led the youngest team to the regional meet. The team defeated regional heavyweights Malaysia and Singapore, who settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
Tan, who ruled the singles last Tuesday, scored 1411 pinfalls for the Philippines, Ian Dichanko 1377, Ivan Malig 1285 and Patrick Nukui 1202 pinfalls. Their youth and skills in the last four stages of the biennial meeting not only ended the title-less position but also gave them a breath of hope for the future of the sport.
“We are thinking about it (the resurgence of bowling in the Philippines), but at the moment we are grateful for the victory,” added Nuki. “Hopefully our success here will give us a positive outlook on the upcoming tournament.”
The right direction
Bowling head coach Bivay Rivera, a former world Masters champion and Asian Games gold medalist, said the team’s victory here was “a step in the right direction”, given the current age of the game.
Tan is only 22 years old, Nukui 19, Malig 25 and Daichanko 31. Prior to the Games, they watched action at the Dubai International and the World Series of Bowling in the United States.
The last time the Philippines had more than one gold was when they claimed four gold medals in 2005.
At sunset, the Philippines moved up to fourth place with 40 gold, 52 silver and 72 bronze, 100 less gold medals than the host Vietnam, which collected 140-85-77 tele-, which no doubt ended the medal standings.
Thailand also made its move to claim second place in medal-rich athletics and swimming, registering 58-64-89, followed by Indonesia (40-59-54). In the 40-40-52 count, Singapore was in fifth place at 7pm.
But the goal of being third in the medal list has not been met yet.
Weightlifting started his campaign here with a bronze, but the Crack Squad could still unleash his big guns. Olympic gold medalist Heidelin Diaz will compete in the 55kg category at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Center on Friday, where former Asian junior and senior champion Vanessa Sarno will shoot for gold in the 71kg women’s section on Saturday.
Rosegi Ramos, a 17-year-old weightlifter from Jamboanga Diaz’s weightlifting school, finished third in the women’s 49-kg category on Thursday.
Olympians Nestor Colonia (67kg), Royal Garcia (61kg) and Margaret Colonia (59kg) are in action on Friday.
E-Sports won a gold medal before the end of the competition late Wednesday night as the Philippine Wild Rift Squad became the first all-female team to win gold at the biennial meeting after losing to Singapore.
Accepting all of the enemy’s offers, the Grindsky Eris Squad consisting of Christine Natividad, Rose Ann Robles, Chrysalis Double, Gianna Lenes, April Soto and Angel Lojada for a sympathetic 3-0 win.
The country lost one of its gold medals from the previous SEA Games after 2019 champion Christine Hallasgo settled for silver early Thursday morning.
Having cramped in the final 2.5km, Bukidon crossed the finish line, overtaking Odekata Naribaho of Native Indonesia.
“It is already a great honor for me to represent the Philippines,” said Halasgo in the Filipino after finishing the race in two hours, 56 minutes and .07 seconds, about a minute behind Naribahoro.
Paul Martin Della Cruz and Jennifer Chan also won silver in the mixed archery team compound event at the Hanoi National Sports Training Center in the afternoon.
The men’s chess team quickly made silver through Grandmaster Darwin Lylo and International Master Paolo Barsamina. Casey Nakano, meanwhile, finished second in judo at 63kg.
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