MANILA, Philippines – Breakthrough gold medals from sprinter Kayla Richardson, cue artist Johann Chua, and the women’s archery team kept the Philippines in the top three of the Southeast Asian Games medal table on Wednesday, May 18.
The Philippines raised its gold tally to 37 and figured in a tie for third place with Singapore going into the last five days of the regional showpiece in Vietnam.
Richardson ended her SEA Games gold drought after reclaiming her throne in the women’s 100m by edging women’s 200m queen Veronica Shanti Pereira of Singapore.
The Filipina-American finished with a time of 11.60 seconds to defeat Pereira (11.62), who beat her and twin sister Kyla for the women’s 200m gold.
Bucking a slow start, Richardson bagged her first gold since she topped the women’s 100m event in the 2015 SEA Games and became the first Filipina to win an athletics gold in Vietnam.
Over in billiards, Chua finally struck gold by toppling Carlo Biado in an all-Filipino title showdown in the men’s nine-ball singles.
Chua earned a 9-6 win over an error-plagued Biado – the reigning US Open champion – as he captured his first-ever SEA Games gold after settling for a pair of bronzes in 2017 and 2019.
Biado earned the second silver of his SEA Games career, while Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco dela Cruz both copped bronze in the men’s one-cushion carom singles.
Archery also delivered, with Pia Bidaure, Abby Bidaure, and Phoebe Amistoso ruling the women’s team recurve.
The trio bested the Vietnamese team of Thi Anh Nguyet Do, Thi Ngoc Ha, and Thi Thanh Nhi Nguyen for the Philippines’ first archery gold.
Combat sports produced a bunch of silvers and bronzes, with the national taekwondo, wrestling, and karate teams taking the spotlight.
Wrestlers Minalyn Foy-os (women’s freestyle 57kg), Noemi Tener (women’s freestyle 76kg), and Jiah Pingot (women’s freestyle 50kg) pocketed silvers, while Grace Loberanes (women’s freestyle 53kg) clinched bronze.
Taekwondo jins Kirstie Alora (women’s kyorugi -73kg), Dave Cea (men’s kyorugi -74kg), and Jessica Canabal (women’s kyorugi -53kg) churned out a triumvirate of silvers.
Meanwhile, karatekas John Enrico Vasquez (men’s individual kata), Rebecca Cyril Torres (women’s individual kata), Jamie Lim (women’s -61kg kumite), and Jayson Ramil Macaalay (men’s -60kg kumite) won bronze.
The Philippines’ other silvers of the day came from table tennis duo Richard Gonzales and John Russel Misal (men’s doubles) and swimmers Chloe Isleta, Jasmine Alkhaldi, Desirae Aubrey Mangaoang, Miranda Renner (women’s 4x100m medley relay).
Fencers Nathaniel Perez, Sammuel Tranquilan, Michael Nicanor, and Prince John Felipe (men’s foil team) and Jylyn Nicanor, Queen Denise Dalmacio, Allaine Nicole Cortey, and Kimberly Camahalan (women’s sabre team) contributed bronzes.
More bronzes were won courtesy of golfers Rianne Malixi and Lois Kaye Go (women’s team), Evalyn Palabrica (women’s javelin throw), and the women’s 4x400m relay team.
Boxer Nesthy Petecio (women’s -60kg) and tennis ace Alex Eala (women’s singles) are already guaranteed of bronzes after advancing to the semifinals of their respective events. – Rappler.com