Monday, 14 December 2009

RP moves up to 6th place in SEA Games

EMIL C. NOGUERA
Manila Times
http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/component/content/article/42-rokstories/7795-rp-moves-up-to-6th-place-in-medal-count

The Philippines won four more gold medals highlighted by record-breaking performances of trackster Arneil Ferrera and swimmers Daniel Coakley and Ryan Arabejo in the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vientiane, Laos.

Ferrera grabbed his fourth-straight title by virtue of his 61.62-meter showing in the men’s hammer-throw event, and surpassed his own SEA Games record of 60.98 meters in 2007 at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Veteran Rosie Villarito delivered the vaunted national track and field squad’s second gold medal when she hurled the javelin to a distance of 49.69 meters.

Coakley, a veteran of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, shared the limelight on Sunday after topping the men’s 50-meter freestyle in 22.62 seconds, eclipsing his previous Games record of 22.80 seconds he established also in the 2007 Thailand Games.

After a couple of silver medals, Arabejo finally found his rhythm by clinching his first gold medal in the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:37.75 which surpassed the 14-year record of 15:43.27 set by Torlap Sethasothan of Thailand.

Medal tally

With four mints added in the bag, the Philippines regained its sixth spot with 12 golds, 16 silvers and 19 bronzes behind Thailand (29-37-37), Vietnam (25-23-27), Singapore (21-12-24), Malaysia (20-20-27) and Indonesia (16-18-27).

Divers Nino Carog and Zardo Domenios settled for silver in the men’s 3-meter springboard synchronized while weightlifter Joselito Padilla placed second in the men’s above 94-kilogram.

Bronze medal winners were muay Thai’s Ana Marie Rey (women’s bantamweight), weightlifting’s Renante Briones (men’s below 94-kilogram), athletics’ Joebert Delicano (men’s triple jump) and Julius Sermona (men’s 5000-meter run).

Boxing gold

Two-time Olympian Harry Tañamor breezed his way to the gold medal round of the boxing competition following a clinical 12-4 win over Htet Aung of Myanmar in the light-flyweight class.

Tañamor, who will next face Kaeo Pongrayoon of Thailand, is the second member of the Philippine boxing team to reach the final after Josie Gabuco in the women’s 46 kilogram.

Three others hope to follow suit when Asian champion Annie Albania, Alice Kate Aparri and Mitchel Martinez see action against separate Thai opponents in the women’s semifinals.

Appari takes on Dueannapha Ngamlam in the light-flyweight class, Albania meets Sopida Satumrum in the flyweight division and Martinez debuts at featherweight opposite Peamwilai Laopeam.

Late Saturday, the Filipino netters bannered by Filipino-Americans Cecil Mamiit and Treat Conrad Huey, dethroned powerhouse Thailand, 2-1, in the finals of the men’s tennis team.

Still optimistic

With six days left and more than a hundred gold medals to be disputed, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Harry Angping remained optimistic of the country’s chances.

“We will fight until the end. Our athletes have prepared hard for this and we believe in their talents. We will not give up that easy,” Angping told The Manila Times.

Forty-five gold medals will be contested in athletics (10), swimming (seven), muay (six), fin swimming (five), shooting (four), golf (four), table tennis (two), billiards and snooker (two), petanque (two), cycling (two) and diving (one).

Four Filipino muay artists Jonathan Polosan, Romnick Pabalate,Zaidi Laruan and Rolando Claro also advanced into the finals and will fight for gold on December 14 and 15.

In golf, the Philippine women’s team came up with a sterling round to dislodge first-day leader Thailand as Chihiro Ikeda chalked up a sparkling three-under-par 69 despite starting off slow with three bogeys to lead the way.

She teamed up with fellow ICTSI member Dottie Ardina, who made a two-under-par 70 for the Philippines’ 139 for the day and a two-day total 285.

With their impressive showing, the Philippine bets seized a one-shot lead over the highly fancied Thais, which managed only a 144 for a 286 aggregate.

In the men’s side, Tonton Asistio, Mark Fernando and Jude Eustaquio combined for a 637, to pare what was an imposing overnight deficit into a more manageable one going into the last round.

Asistio and Fernando each came up with a 68 and Eustaquio a 72 as they trimmed the leading Thais’ lead from 11 to just four. Singapore lies second with a 634.

Pressed for contribution after the fall of their more senior big guns Efren “Bata” Reyes and Django Bustamante, the billiards team closed in on the 8-ball pool single event where Gandy Valle and former world champion Ronato Alcano both advanced to the semifinal round.

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