Fernandez says combat sports poised to bring in more gold medals for Team PH
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner and chef de mission of Team Philippines Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez is confident that Filipinos will continue to deliver gold medals, particularly in combat sports in the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam.
For the past two days, combat sports have become a steady source of gold medals that have kept the Philippines in the top five of the medal tally. Currently, the Philippines is in fifth place in the medal tally with 7 gold, 14 silver, and 12 bronze medals.
Meanwhile, the host country, Vietnam is soaring at the top 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 didn’t pressure our athletes, coaches, and even the presidents of these combat sports to surpass their previous performances, ” said Fernandez.
“From what I saw during their training, I’m confident that they will perform well,” said Fernandez.
Mary Francine Padios of Pencak silat jumpstarted the anticipated gold-medal rush in combat sports by topping the women’s Seni Tunggal event prior to the opening ceremony while kickboxers Jean Claude Saclar and Gina Araos Iniong ruled their weight categories 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 claimed silver medals together with wushu’s Agatha Wong and triathlon’s Andrew Kim Remolino.
Jackielou Escarpe then ruled the men’s -73kg kurash men’s competition last Friday, along with Carlos Yulo’s gold medal in the men’s artistic gymnastics all-around.
On Saturday, May 14, Kim Mangrobang and Fernando Casares ruled the triathlon event securing two additional gilts for the Philippines.
“In individual sports where athletes are categorized by weight, the fighters are on equal footing unlike in basketball and volleyball where height matters,” said Fernandez.
“We can really compete in a high-level tournament in combat sports. It’s just a matter of exposing these athletes in the top competitions in the world for them to improve,” he said.
In the 2019 SEA Games which was hosted by 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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