HANOI — A weightlifter first timer pumped fresh blood to the Philippine team, which was making a last-ditch effort to secure fourth place at the 31st Southeast Asian Games here on Saturday night.
The good news is that old tennis and billiard trustees have promised to give the former overall champion four gold medals with just one day left in the competition. The Philippine crop now stands at 47 gold, 64 silver and 86 bronze.
Singapore also finished the day with the same number of gold but its 47-44-65 dropped it to fifth place. Vietnam (173-102-100) continued to dominate fugitive fashion, followed by Thailand (71-85-116). Indonesia (57-75-68) is virtually in third place, as the country had previously noted.
But even hoping to win gold from basketball and boxing, it looks like the Philippine mission will be to finish fourth.
“A lot of gold medals have slipped out of our hands,” said Ramon Fernandez, the mission’s head. “I just hope we can still make it to No. 4.”
Weightlifting sparked a ray of hope for the Olympics as 18-year-old Vanessa Sarno won the women’s 71kg gold medal in record fashion.
He gained strength by competing with explosive numbers: 104 kg snatching, 135 clean and jerk, 239 total – all of which were new meet records.
“I am very emotional. For personal reasons, it means a lot to me, “said Sarno, who won the Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last year. “I know I’ll win because we had a great training camp.”
Her support is no less than that of Olympic champion Heidelin Diaz, whom Sarno saw as a young child growing up in Bohol: “He told me that sports would change my life. [for the better]”
She is already being groomed for the Paris Olympics, along with several other Diaz heirs, including Olympian Elrin Ando, who previously won a silver medal in the women’s 64kg.
“It simply came to our notice then. This is our bet for Paris, “said Monico Puentevela Sarnoor, president of Samahang Weightlifting NP Pilipinas. With Diaz retaining the 55kg title on Friday, the Philippines is looking for another gold through Crystal Macron who will see action in the 71+kg on Sunday.
U.S.-based Reuben Gonzalez and Treat Hui Francis also received Casey Alcantara and Jason Petrombon as tennis contributed gold medals to the Philippine campaign.
At the Hanaka Sports Center, 2019 silver medalists Gonzalez and Hui scored 6-1, 6-4 against men’s doubles defending champions Alcantara and Patrombon.
The gold medals in basketball are in the pipeline as the men’s and women’s glasses are undefeated in the competition at Thanh Tri Gymnasium.
The men’s team defeated Malaysia 6-44, and the women’s team defeated Singapore, 6-71, to win the coveted title.
“We really treat this game [against Malaysia] In preparation for tomorrow’s match against Indonesia, “said Giles men’s coach Chot Reyes.
The men’s team will face Indonesia at 3 pm, while the women’s team will face Malaysia at 9 pm.
Mitte won her second gold medal after a 7-5 victory over teammate Filipino Chezka Senteno for the women’s 10-ball crown. Carlo Biado won gold in the men’s team after a 9-3 victory over compatriot Johan Chua.
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