CEBU CITY, Philippines — Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner and Team Philippines Chef de Mission Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez is confident that the Filipinos will continue to win gold medals, especially in combat sports during the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG). in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Over the past two days, combat sports have become a consistent source of gold medals that have kept the Philippines in the top five of the medal tally. Currently, the Philippines are in fifth place in the medal tally with 7 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze.
Meanwhile, host nation Vietnam soars with 26-13-23 (gold-silver-bronze) followed by Malaysia with 11-5-13, Indonesia with 7-9-2 and Thailand 6-9-18. .
“I haven’t pressured our athletes, our coaches, and even the presidents of these combat sports to surpass their previous performances,” Fernandez said.
“From what I’ve seen during their training, I’m confident they’ll perform well,” Fernandez said.
Pencak silat’s Mary Francine Padios kicked off the anticipated gold medal rush in combat sports by winning the women’s Seni Tunggal event ahead of the opening ceremony while kickboxers Jean Claude Saclar and Gina Araos Iniong reigned supreme their weight classes as well as Jack Escarpe of kurash.
Helen Aclopen Talongen, Charmea Quelino Kingay, Sydney Sy of kurash, Jones Llabres Inso, kickboxers Renalyn Dacquel, Gretel de Paz Cordero, Zephania Ngaya and Claudine Veloso Decena won silver medals along with Agatha Wong of wushu and Andrew Kim Remolino of triathlon.
Jackielou Escarpe then dominated the men’s -73 kg kourach competition last Friday, with Carlos Yulo’s gold medal in the men’s artistic gymnastics all-around competition.
On Saturday May 14, Kim Mangrobang and Fernando Casares led the triathlon event securing two additional gilts for the Philippines.
“In individual sports where athletes are ranked by weight, fighters are on equal footing unlike in basketball and volleyball where height matters,” Fernandez said.
“We can really participate in a high level tournament in combat sports. It’s just a matter of exposing these athletes to the best competitions in the world for them to improve,” he said.
During the 2019 SEA Games hosted by the Philippines, Filipino athletes amassed 59 gilts in combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, taekwondo, karate-do, Muay Thai, arnis, wrestling, pencak silat, judo, sambo, wushu and kurash.
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