Tokyo hot for golfers; 2 boxers in big fights


TOKYO—Bianca Pagdanganan stayed within striking distance while Yuka Saso refused to melt under the sweltering Japanese summer heat as golf resumed with the women’s event where the country is pinning its chances to add to the gold medal Hidilyn Diaz already won in weightlifting.

Pagdanganan went two-under 69 to find herself tied with eight others at seventh place behind Sweden’s Madeline Sagstrom, who fired a five-under 66 on a day when the heat index topped 37.8 Celsius and players were cooling themselves down with ice packs, and caddies found themselves in the medical tent for treatment for heat exhaustion.

The 23-year-old longest hitter of the Ladies Professional Golf Association was tied with reigning Olympic champion Inbee Park of South Korea and Danielle Kang of the US.

Saso, on the other hand, wound up with a 74 at the par-71 Kasumigaseki Golf Club course in Kawagoe. She played the first round with a replacement caddie as Lionel Matichuck recovers in a hospital from heat stroke.

Pagdanganan’s team? It wasn’t spared the heat with her coach, Carito Villaroman, spending much of the morning resting due to dehydration.

Two men with lethal fists—Eumir Felix Marcial and Carlo Paalam—meanwhile, resume the country’s gold medal quest in boxing at the Kokugikan Arena on Thursday. Paalam climbs the ring first in a flyweight bout at 1:30 p.m. (Manila time) hoping to summon all his big punches to dominate Japanese Ryomei Tanaka.

Marcial, who earned a reputation as the knockout king of the Tokyo Games, faces Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak in a middleweight semifinal battle starting at 2:03 p.m. (Manila time).

Victories by both would guarantee them silver medals and shots at the same gold medals Hidilyn Diaz won in women’s weightlifting two Mondays ago.

Image courtesy of AP/Matt York

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