MANILA, Philippines – Pauline Lopez jumpstarted the Philippines' gold machine in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games taekwondo as two other jins delivered at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, December 8.
Annihilating her semifinal foe by 17 points, Lopez demonstrated the same dominant form against Cambodia's Aliza Chhoeung in a 12-4 masterclass to rule the women's featherweight class.
Lopez ended the first round up 4-0 and never looked back as she collected her second SEA Games gold medal and first since 2015.
"My parents were watching for the first time in 10 years. So I didn’t want to fail them. I know they prayed hard for my success," said Lopez, who settled for the bronze in the 2017 edition in Malaysia.
National team veteran Samuel Morrison also snagged a gold medal, ruling the men's featherweight with a 30-8 thrashing of Malaysia's Joshua Abdullah.
A 24-8 lead after the second round was all Morrison needed to clinch his third straight gold medal in the biennial showpiece.
Dave Cea completed the Philippines' 3 gold-medal haul of the day with a 10-0 start against Thailand's Nutthawee Klompong en route to the 10-5 victory in the men's lightweight finals.
Olympian Kirstie Alora, meanwhile, fell short of the top prize following a 9-12 loss to Cambodia's Seavmey Sorn in the women's heavyweight finals.
Also settling for silver are Arven Alcanta (men's featherweight), Laila Delo (women's welterweight), and Kristopher Robert Uy (men's heavyweight).
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.