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Phl whisks distance

The three-time Olympian was hardly challenged in her event to claim her first gold in the biennial meet.



CAPAS CITY — Even Typhoon “Tisoy” could not stop the Day 2 onslaught of Team Philippines in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Hidilyn Diaz finally found the missing piece of her colorful career after dominating the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event yesterday at the refurbished Ninoy Aquino Stadium as the gold rush continued for the host nation.

The three-time Olympian was hardly challenged in her event to claim her first gold in the biennial meet, while Filipino athletes in arnis, the men’s and women’s mountainbike downhill and 3×3 teams also contributed big to the country’s golden haul.

Diaz lifted a total of 211 — 91kg in the snatch and 120kg in the clean and jerk — to run away with the gold. Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thuy (197) and Indonesia’s Klarisa Julian (175) took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

“I was feeling a little nervous because the pressure is there, but I was just thinking this is for God and for the team,” said the 28-year old Diaz, silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

HIDILYN Diaz salutes the flag while Jones Libares shows off his medal after their SEA Games victories. BOB DUNGO JR. @tribunephl_bob

“This is the first time that my mom and dad watched. It was fun but the pressure was there,” Diaz added.

With 16 golds in Day 2 as of press time, the Philippines now matched its 2009 campaign in Laos with 38. The country also had 19 silvers and 10 bronzes as of this writing.

Running second was Vietnam (10-20-16), followed by Malaysia (10-2-7), Indonesia (6-10-10), Thailand (6-7-14), Singapore (3-6-7), Cambodia (1-3-13), Brunei (1-3-3), Myanmar (0-5-14) and Laos (0-0-2).

Arnis, the country’s traditional martial arts, once again delivered in the second day of the 11-nation meet with seven golds to increase the total to 12 and eclipse the 10-gold tally of dancesport.

Elmer Manlapas (men’s featherweight), Carloyd Tejada (men’s welterweight), Jesfer Huquire (men’s bantamweight), Sheena del Monte (women’s bantamweight), Jedah Mae Soriano (women’s feathweight), Abegail Abad (women’s welterweight) and Ross Ashley Monville (women’s lightweight) ruled their respective events in the full-contact padded stick category.

The Philippines’ 3×3 men’s and women’s teams also won the golds in contrasting fashions.

The quartet of CJ Perez, Chris Newsome, Mo Tautuaa and Jason Perkins swept the competition and demolished Indonesia, 21-9, in their gold-medal match.

“It was not easy. It was challenging,” Philippine 3×3 men’s coach Ronnie Magsanoc said.

The women’s team of Afril Bernardino, Claire Castro, Janine Pontejos and Jack Animam turned back Thailand in the finals, 17-13. The Thais inflicted the Philippine team’s lone loss in the tournament, 20-22.

JONES Libares concentrates on his medal performance in wushu.
BOB DUNGO JR. @tribunephl_bob

Lea Denise Belgira delivered the first gold for the Philippines yesterday after ruling the women’s mountainbike downhill event and John Derick Farr also won the men’s category of the event held in Laurel, Batangas.

Monica Torres took the gold in women’s duathlon at the Subic Bay Boardwalk in Zambales, but her male counterpart Joey delos Reyes settled for the silver behind Indonesian Jauhari Johan.

Kim Manrobang and John Nicano claimed their second gold medals in the biennial meet after powering the mixed-relay squad that also included Claire Adorna and Fernando Casares.

PRESSURE is not in Hidilyn Diaz’s face as she lifts this load to a gold medal. BOB DUNGO JR.

Edmar Tacuel provided the first gold for the country in pencak silat after ruling the men’s seni tunggal event held at Subic Bay, while the men’s lawn ball pair also took home the gold.

Silver medal winners for the host country were Billy Joel Valenzuela (men’s lightweight arnis full-contact padded stick), Celedonio Tayao (men’s benchrest air rifle), Eleazar Barba Jr (men’s mountainbike downhill), Jones Inso (wushu men’s taijijian), the men’s and women’s lawn ball teams and brothers Alfau and Almohadib Abad (pencak silat seni ganda).

The Blu Boys dominated Thailand, 11-0, while the women’s softball team scored twin victories, beating Singapore, 6-0 and Malaysia, 8-1, at The Villages here. The men’s baseball squad edged the Thais, 3-2.