Philippines, 25 Sep 2020
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WHO GAINED, WHO LOST IN LAOS SEAG?


PhilBoxing.com




As in the past multi-event international commitments the Philippines took part in, there always had been gainers and losers.

The 25th Southeast Asian Games, which ended last Friday in Laos? premier city of Vientiane, was no exception. The 251-athlete national delegation managed to bring home only 38 gold medals, 35 silver medals and 51 bronze medals that was short of three golden mints their predecessors fashioned out in Thailand, 56 shy of 91 silver medals and 45 shun of the 96 silver medals.

That finish enabled though the country to improve by a rank the sixth overall finish 2007 contingent had in the 24th edition of the biennial conclave and enough to at least gave the athletes something to brag about especially with the kind of preparations, if there were any, they had undergone the past two years prior travelling to the former French colony.

Another significant aspect of the Filipinos? participation, their 32nd since having been admitted to the former Southeast Asian Peninsular Games in 1977, was that, unlike two years ago when only a handful of sports gained, the Laos expedition can well be remembered as the edition where no less than nine sports emerged gainers.

Only five of the 22 sports the Filipinos saw action, in fact, emerged losers ? swimming, diving, archery, cycling and billiards and snooker.

The biggest gainers, of course, happened to be the boxing team, which was able to scoop up five gold medals as compare to the lone victory in Korat. The lady fighters, led by gold medalists Annie Albania in the light-flyweight divisio0n, pin weight Josie Gabuco and Alice Kate Appari scored a perfect four-for-four at bat with the fourth members featherweight Mitchel Martinez grabbing a bronze.

Counting the gold medals won by pin weight Bill Vicera and featherweight Charly Suarez, the silver of veteran Harry Tanamor and the bronze medals of flyweight Rey Saludar and light-welterweight Joegin Ladon, the 10-boxer team, coached by Pat Gaspi, Nonito Velasco ad Ronald Chavez in the men?s division and Boy Catolico and Barcelona Olympics silver medalist Roel Velasco in the distaff side, went into the records as to have performed 90 percent in terms of medals won.
Only 2006 Asian Games medalist Joan Tipon went home empty-handed after losing his bout in the first round,

Taekwondo, which could only settle for a solitary gold in Thailand managed four in Vientiane courtesy of the two-time Olympians Tsomlee Go who retained his men?s featherweight title, and welterweight Mary Antoinette Rivero, heavyweight Alexander Briones and the poomsae trio of Carla Lagman, Rani Ann Ortega and Francesca Alarilla.

Also gaining were surprised package wrestlers, who did not win a gold in Korat, but won three this year, shooting, karatedo and muay, zero in 2007 with one each in 2009, tennis and judo with one-to-two.

The Filipino wrestlers scored through Margarito Angana and Jason Balabal, two of some 100 athletes deprived of sanction by the Philippine Sports Commission and Jimmy Angana, while judo improved on the efforts of John Baylon, who set a record of sort by winning his ninth SEAG gold medal and Nancy Quillotes, who ended years of exercise in futility with a gold this time.
Shooter Tac Padilla, who like Baylon is in his mid-40s, saved the day for the Filipino marksmen by recapturing his favorite rapid fire pistol crown he lost more than a decade ago.

Athletics also enjoyed a big jump from five gold medals in 2007 to seven in Vientiane with a pair of non-PSC recognized Eduardo Buenavista and Jho-An Banayag sweeping the men?s and women?s marathon. Also winning gold medals were steeplechaser Rene Herrera, javelin throwers Rosie Villarito and Danilo Fresnido, hammer thrower Arniel Ferrera and long jumper Maristela Torres.

Cecil Mamiit crowned himself the men/s singles champion in tennis besides helping the RP team to the gold in team competition along with Treat Huey and Johnny Arcilla.

Kick-boxer Zaidi Laruna also broke into the win column by ruling the lightweight division in muay.
Five sports, on the other hand, suffered losses with swimming and cycling having the most casualties with four each. Double gold medal winner Miguel Molina could only count on team mates Ryan Arabejo and Daniel Coakley in gifting the swimming team its four gold medals from eight in 2007.

Cycling, which won four in Korat went home with nothing after the organizers barred the whole team from taking part, including 2007 road race gold medalist Marites Bitbit, the only rider possessing the required International Cycling Union license.

The biggest letdown was the so-called billiards and snooker team which only settled for two gold medal winning from three two years ago, same with diving with zero this year from two in Thailand. Archery failed to repeat its two-gold in 2007 with a lone victory in Laos.

(Eddie G. Alinea?s articles also appear in the Philippine Gazette)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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