SEAG: PH gets gold in relay, taekwondo, and cycling
MANILA, Philippines – A UST journalism graduate, the men's 4x400-meter relay squad and a London Olympian starred for the Philippine squad competing in the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar Thursday, December 19.
Jade Zafra won the under 53 kilogram event in taekwondo while two other teammates faltered in their quest to revive the Philippines' flickering hopes to overcome 6th placed Singapore in the overall medal tally.
The Philippines is still in seventh spot with 23 golds, 27 silvers and 30 bronze medals.
"I am so happy with the victory," Zafra told government radio station dzSR. Zafra took a long break after being accidentally hit in the face during training with the UST team for the 2011 UAAP, usttigers.com said. But she persevered and overcame objections of her parents to rejoin the squad.
Zafra, 23, wrote for Spin.Ph from September to October this year. She did not say if she will return to writing before training for the 2014 Asian Games starts.
The men's 4x400 team, tipped as winners because of a 1-2 finish by Archand Christian Bagsit and Eduardo Alejan Jr in the 400 meters, survived a scare after Julius Nierras lost team before handing off to Bagsit in the final anchor change.
In the Youtube link from the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association Facebook page, Bagsit chased the Thai anchor, who led by five meters, and caught him with about 30 meters. The Philippines won the event in 3:09.32. The Thais, who had only one finalist in the 400 meters but loaded it with sprinters, were second in 3:09.81.
Merwin Guarte finished 4th in a slow 1,500 race that was spiced up by a rare tie at the finish where Malaysian Mohd Riduan Jironi won ahead of Duong Van Thai of Vietnam. Both had the same time of 3:58.02. Despite the near misses, athletics became the most productive squad of the Philippines with six golds, four silvers and three bronze medals.
Daniel Caluag, a 2012 Olympian, and brother Christopher endured a long trip from London to Manila, and then to Myanmar to compete in cycling's BMX event. They won in 1-2 fashion to give cycling's second gold. - Rappler.com