MANILA – Arnis, the country’s national martial arts, pulled out another blistering performance after winning eight more gold medals to push the Philippines ahead in the medal tally of the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The arnis team now have a total of 12 gold medals after Jesfer Huquire (male-bantamweight/55kg and less), Elmer Manlapas (M-featherweight/+55kg and less), Carloyd Tejada (M-welterweight/+65kg & above), Sheena del Monte (Female-bantamweight (50 kg and less) Ashley Monville Ross (F-lightweight /55kg and less), Jedah Mae Soriano (F-featherweight/+50 kg less 55 kg), and Abegael Abad (F-welterweight/60kg and above) in padded stick competition, and Jezebel Morcillo in female’s live stick bantamweight class.

With their gold haul, the arnis players have surpassed the 10 gold medals won by their counterparts in dancesports competition on Sunday.

The host Philippines now has a total of 67 medals – 37 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze medals after two days of competition.

The Philippines also imposed its might in triathlon after mixed relay event on Monday at the Subic Bay Boardwalk in Subic, Zambales.

The powerhouse squad composed of women’s triathlon gold medalist Kim Mangrobang, trailed by Fernando Casares, 2017 silver medalist Claire Adorna and men’s triathlon gold medalist Rambo Chicano, bagged the Philippines’ 37th gold medal in the biennial meet.

The Philippines clocked one hour, 33 minutes, and 47 seconds, followed by silver medalist Singapore with 1:37:58, and bronze finisher Indonesia with 1:38:57.

Entering last, Chicano, who ran an extra two kilometers, admitted that he needed to push himself as he felt an amount of tension to sustain the huge gap done by his teammates.

“Sakin medyo may pressure pero okay naman kasi malaki ‘yung agwat noong turn ko na (I felt the pressure but it’s okay because we have big lead when it was my turn),” he said.

Olympian Hidilyn Diaz finally bagged her first SEA Games gold medal after three attempts in weightlifting competition at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Diaz added her breakthrough SEA Games gold to her growing collection of medals that also include gold in the Asian Games and a bronze in the world championship.

Basketball and mountain bike made Monday more special after completing a sweep of the 3x3 and downhill events, respectively, while pencak silat and duathlon also added a gold each.

The quartet of CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Newsome, and Jason Perkins sparked Gilas Pilipinas to the inaugural men’s 3x3 gold by whipping Indonesia in the finals 21-9, capping its unbeaten campaign. The women’s side of Afril Bernadino, Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, and Clare Castro got back at elimination round tormentor Thailand to win the gold 17-13.

Cyclists John Derick Farr and Lea Denise Belgira scored a twin kill in the mountain bike downhill that set the tone earlier for another gold rush for the Filipinos.

Edmar Tacuel delivered the first gold for pencak silat with a win in the men’s seni tunggal singles event, while Monica Torres topped the women’s duathlon individual event.

Still trailing the Philippines in the medal tally is 2021 SEA Games host Vietnam with 15 golds, 20 silvers and 16 bronzes and Malaysia with 10-2-7 output going into the third day of competition where 45 golds, 45 silvers and 66 bronze medals are at stake. (PNA)