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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Golden weekend for Filipino athletes in Hangzhou, Riyadh

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THE Philippine snatched five of a possible six gold medals in rapid chess to cap a successful campaign in the 4th Asian Para Games in Hangzhou on Saturday and on Sunday, saw a 1-2 finish in Muay Thai at the World Combat Games in Riyadh.

The Philippine snatched five out of a possible six gold medals in rapid chess to cap a successful campaign in the 4th Asian Para Games in Hangzhou on Saturday and on Sunday, saw a 1-2 finish in Muay Thai at the World Combat Games in Riyadh.

Abetted by breaks plus the Filipino chess bets’ gritty and united stand, they swept the men’s Physically Impaired (PI) and B2-B3 divisions while annexing the PI women’s individual title courtesy of Atty. Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza and the team silver of the same event.

Typifying the resiliency of the squad was Asian Para Games rookie Darry Bernardo, who was one piece down playing with the white pieces but still managed to pull off an improbable win against Indonesia’s Adji Hartono in ruling the B1-B2 men’s individual event with six points.

Counting the rapid team gold, Bernardo and Menandro Redor emerged as the nationals’ most successful athletes with three gold medals each in the campaign supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Thanks to their heroic efforts, the 72-member Philippine contingent to Hangzhou matched the tally of 10 golds in the 2018 Jakarta edition while rising  to its  best ever performance in the continental showcase to ninth overall, three notches higher than the country’s showing five years ago.

This was attained despite the fact that the PH standard-bearers had less silvers and bronzes—four and five, respectively,  compared to the eight and 11 in the previous Games.

Veteran  Henry Roger Lopez, who led the field  with five points entering the seventh and final round, won a hard-fought match over teammate Jasper Rom  to  become a double gold medalist together with Mendoza in anchoring the men’s PI squad to a sweep of the team and individual events.

Richien Yosorez and Kylie Mallari tallied 9.20 points in the final round to beat their men’s counterparts Ariel Lampacan and Philip Delarmino (9.03) points to bag the gold medal in the mixed category, a demonstration event in the World Combat Games staged at the King Saud University Arena in the Saudi Arabia capital.

“We never expected to meet the men in the final, we just found out that we would meet them just before the competition,” Yosorez, of General Santos City told BusinessMirror through online call.

“Our dedication and courage really helped us to accomplish the goal,” said the second year Sports Science student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. “Our trust with each other too.”

Yosorez and Mallari beat Malaysia’s Binti Roslan and Derora Dane Daniel, 9.13-8.66, in the semifinal.

Delarmino and Lampacan, on the other hand, defeated Iraq’s Ali Kinanah and Hussein Al-Zubaidi, 8.80-7.76, in other semifinal.

“I was surprised that we met our men’s team in the final but that’s how it is,” said Mallari, a Nursing sophomore at La Consolacion College. “It was really unexpected that they mixed us with the men’s after the elimination round.”

Malaysians Roslan and Daniel beat the Iraqis in the battle for the bronze medal.

Islay Erika Bomogao, meanwhile, lost to Malaysian Jia Chi Yan, 9.36-9.50, to settle for the silver medal in female wai kru demo also of Muay Thai.

“I’m very happy we got our second gold medal and we’re expecting a few more before we end our World Combat Games campaign,” chef de mission Alvin Aguilar said.

Jiu-jitsu’s Kaila Napolis bagged the country’s first-ever medal—gold—in the 16-sport World Combat Games that started in 2010 in Beijing but only had one competition after that in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2013.

Agatha Wong and Clemente Tabugara Jr. of wushu already clinched silver medals, while Jones Inso and Thornton Sayan also of wushu, Maria Aisa Ratcliff and Fierre Afan of grappling got bronze medals for the Philippines.

With Josef Ramos

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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