MANILA, Philippines – Judoka Rena Furukawa and the national bowling team proved to be the bright spots as the Philippines dropped to fifth place in the Southeast Asian Games medal table on Thursday, May 19.
Furukawa and bowlers Merwin Tan, Christian Dychangco, Ivan Malig, and Patrick Nuqui won the only two golds the country clinched on a lean day that saw Singapore and Indonesia leapfrog the Philippines in the medal tally.
Singapore occupied the third spot with 44 golds, while Indonesia moved to fourth with 42 golds as the Philippines slid to fifth with 40 golds.
Despite the drop, the Philippines established its status as a bowling force in the region by winning two of the six golds up for grabs in the sport.
After ending the Philippines’ decade-long gold drought in SEA Games bowling by ruling the men’s singles play, Tan showed the way for Dychangco, Malig, and Nuqui in the men’s team of four event.
The Filipino bowlers finished with 5275 pinfalls to edge runner-up Malaysia, which tallied 5,162 pinfalls.
Meanwhile, Furukawa captured the Philippines’ first judo gold after trouncing Myanmar’s Chu Myat Noe Wai in the women’s -57kg division.
Judo also nailed a pair of silvers courtesy of Keisei Nakano (men’s -73kg) and John Viron Ferrer (men’s -90kg).
Megumi Kurayoshi (women’s -63kg) bagged bronze for a four-medal haul in judo.
Aside from judo, other combat sports continued to produce for the Philippines as wrestling, karate, and taekwondo combined for nine medals.
Wrestlers Alvin Lobreguito (men’s freestyle 57kg), Jhonny Morte Gadugdug (men’s freestyle 65kg), and Ronil Tubog (men’s freestyle 74kg) all plucked silver, while Jason Balabal (men’s freestyle 97kg) copped bronze.
Karatekas Remon Misu (women’s -68kg kumite), Ivan Christopher Agustin (men’s -84kg kumite) and Nicole Erika Dantes, Rebecca Cyril Torres, and Sarah Pangilinan (women’s team kata), and taekwondo jins Samuel Morrison (men’s kyorugi -80kg) and Israel Cesar Cantos (men’s kyorugi -87kg) also salvaged bronze.
Chess contributed a pair of medals as Darwin Laylo and Paulo Bersamina (men’s team rapid) won silver and Janelle May Frayna and Marie Antoinette San Diego (women’s team rapid) snagged bronze.
Fresh from its golden feat in women’s team recurve, archery added a silver and bronze thanks to Jennifer Chan and Paul Marton dela Cruz (mixed team compound) and Paul Marton dela Cruz, Florante Matan, Andrei Johann Olaño (men’s team compound), respectively.
The Philippines’ other bronzes of the day came from swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi (women’s 100m butterfly), rhythmic gymnast Breanna Labadan (women’s individual all-around), rowers Hermie Macaranas and Ojay Fuentes (men’s canoe double 1000m), and weightlifter Rosegie Ramos (women’s 49kg). – Rappler.com