JAKARTA – The Philippines had a last-moment gold rush in the 11th day of competition in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the worst finish by the country in ten years.
Filipino athletes won nine gold medals in the penultimate day of the biennial event, but the haul only pushed the country’s total to 36 gold medals, two short of its result in Laos and 2009. It was also woefully off the Philippine Sports Commission’s target of 70 golds in this year’s meet.
Additionally, the result is the country’s worst total since 2001, when it won just 30 gold medals.
The big picture dampened what was easily the Philippines’ most productive day of competition, as the country racked up two golds each in boxing and wushu, and a gold each in chess, cycling, equestrian, fin swimming, and tennis.
Boxers Charly Suarez and Dennis Galvan beat the odds and won their finals matches against respective Indonesian opponents. Suarez outpointed Matius Mandangan in their 60kg match, while Galvan defeated Afdan Bachtila in the 64kg division. The victories gave the Philippine boxing team a total of four golds, just one short of its total in the 2009 edition of the games.
URCC stars Eduard Folayang and Mark Eddiva dominated their respective finals matches in the sanshou competition in wushu. Folayang stopped Udon Khanxay of Laos in their 70kg encounter, while Eddiva defeated Youne Victorio Senduk on Indonesia in their 65kg encounter.
It was a productive day for Philippine wushu, as Benjie Rivera (men’s 56kg) and Mariane Mariano (women’s 56kg) won silver medals in their events. The wushu team also won a silver medal in the men’s duilian event and a bronze in the women’s duilian event.
Wesley So ruled the individual blitz chess event, while his teammate Mark Paragua finished with a bronze in the same category. So also finished with a silver in the standard chess event for men, while Rulp Jose won a silver in the standard category for women.
Diego Lorenzo and Toni Leviste had a 1-2 finish in the individual equestrian event, giving the Philippines a gold and a silver, respectively.
The mixed doubles team of Treat Huey and Denise Dy finally won a gold for the tennis team after a series of frustrating finish. Huey’s partnership with Cecil Mamiit in the men’s doubles, meanwhile, produced a silver.
Rookie John Mier won a surprise gold medal in the men’s 40km point cycling race, while female cyclist Apryl Epingger salvaged a bronze in the 5km scratch race.
Danielle Faith Torres also had surprise, placing first in the 50m scratch surface event in fin swimming.
The 20+1+1 dragon boat team finished second to Myanmar in the 2000m race. The Pinoy paddlers clocked in at 07:49.940, behind Myanmmar’s 07:46.300.
The sepak takraw team of Jason Huerte, Junmar Aleta, and Rheyjey Ortouste rounded out the day’s haul with a bronze in the men’s doubles competition.
Indonesia remained on top of the medal tally with 171 golds, 147 silvers, and 137 bronzes. Thailand (105-95-118) strengthened its grip on second place, while Vietnam (96-80-101) is in third. Malaysia (59-48-77) and Singapore (42-45-73) round out the top five.
But despite their dominance, the host much heartbreak on Monday after their team lost the football finals to Malaysia in a thrilling penalty shootout.
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