𝐀𝐓 𝐀 𝐆𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐂𝐄: 𝐅𝐈𝐋𝐈𝐏𝐈𝐍𝐎 𝐀𝐓𝐇𝐋𝐄𝐓𝐄𝐒’ 𝐅𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐒 𝐀𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝟑𝟐𝐍𝐃 𝐒𝐄𝐀 𝐆𝐀𝐌𝐄𝐒
By GODFREY T. DANCEL
𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭-𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐁𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐝
Gymnast Carlos Yulo is considered as the best-performing Filipino athlete for this edition of the games aft er bagging two golds and two silvers. Veteran swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi was the most bemedalled Filipino athlete, with four silvers and three bronzes.
Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando erased three records in weightlifting’s 59 kg class enroute to capturing the gold. She set new marks of 98 kgs in snatch and 118 kgs in clean and jerk, for a new total record of 216 kgs.
Precious Cabuya reset the world record for the obstacle course racing (OCR) 100-meter women’s individual race not just once, but twice. She clocked 33.1278 seconds in the elimination round to better the erstwhile record of 35.42 seconds held by compatriot Kaizen dela Serna. Cabuya further improved on this with a 32.73-second golden performance during the final.
Jaymark Rodelas’ 25.0921-second performance shattered his old world record of 26.42 seconds for OCR 100-met er men’s individual competition during the elimination rounds. He eventually bagged the gold medal.
Ernest John Obiena not only claimed his third straight SEA Games gold medal but also set a new men’s pole vault meet record of 5.65 meters. The previous standard was 5.46 meters, which he himself set in Vietnam last year.
Seventeen-year-old swimming prodigy Teia Isabella Salvino bagged the 100m back stroke title with a sensational time of 1:01:64. This sunk the previous SEA Games record of 1:01:89 set by Nguyen Thi Anj Vien in 2017.
Xiandi Chua shattered the women’s 200m back stroke SEA Games standard of 2:13.64 by clocking in at 2:13.20. By breaking the six-year-old record held by Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, she also dethroned defending champion and compatriot Chloe Isleta.
𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐞
The Gilas Pilipinas Redeem Team successfully reclaimed the SEA Games basketball gold medal against a heavily reinforced Cambodian team. The latest Gilas iteration completed its redemption mission, successfully making up for the national team’s failure to defend the crown in last year’s games.
𝐊𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐬 𝐀𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞
Athletics champ Eric Cray captured his sixth consecutive 400 meter hurdles gold, keeping his winning streak since his 2013 SEA Games debut. The victory brought his SEA Games gold medal tally to eight.
Esports team Sibol gave the Philippines its third consecutive gold in the Mobile Legends: B ang Bang competition. The country won the inaugur al tournament in 2019, and again prevailed last year.
Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa claimed his third straight SEA Games gold medal by dominating his Thai opponent in the -54k g. final. The 24-year-old also won the gold in the same division in his first SEA Games stint in 2019 and repeated last year.
𝐎𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭, 𝐎𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐮𝐦
Retired wrestler Maria Cristina Vergara returned to active competition for this year’s games, eventually capturing the gold in the women’s 65k g freestyle event. This is her third gold medal, having won the 59kg gold in the inaugur al competition 20 years ago and repeating in 2005. She retired after a bronze medal finish in 2007 and later on joined the national team coaching staff. The 44-year-old’s latest triumph came an hour aft er her 18-year-old daughter Cathlyn captured the bronze in the 59k g division.
Winning by a Hairline
The men’s 4x400 met er relay team claimed the gold by a hairline, defeating the Thai quartet by just 0.01 of a second. Clint on Bautista, Michael del Prado, and Umajesty Williams registered 3:07.22,, barely ahead of the Thais who clocked 3:07.23.