MANILA – Despite inclement weather due to typhoon Kammuri, Arnis continued to heat up Team Philippines’ campaign in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The Filipino arnis warriors copped two more gold medals in the anyo (form) competitions to wrap up their campaign with a total of 14 mints at the end of the meet on a rainy Tuesday at the Angeles University Foundation.
The pair of golds was delivered by Crisamuel Delfin and Aldeguer Mary Allin in the men’s and women’s non-traditional open weapon.
Delfin, 25, tallied 9.83 to beat Ngo Van Huynh of Vietnam (9.7) for the gold, while Allin, 21, also beat a Vietnam foe in Trieu Thi Hoai, 9.63-9.57, to make it a sweep for the host.
Not as fortunate were Mark David Puzon and Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez, who both settled for the silver in the men’s and women’s traditional open weapon. Sanchez (9.60) lost to Phoo Eian Dray of Myanmar (9.70), while Puzon (9.60) also fell short against Do Duc Tri of Vietnam (9.70).
But that doesn’t take away the special feat pulled off by the sport that is making a comeback in the SEA Games after a 14-year absence.
“The most bemedalled sport in the Games, the most bemedalled sport. I hope we win the overall championship,” shouted an ecstatic Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, president of the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF), who braved the rain and gusty winds to watch the team in action.
The triumph of the Filipino arnisadors helped keep the host unshaken on top of the medal tally on the third day of action in the biennial meet.
Along with six gold medals in wushu, including five in sanda, at the World Trade Center, and the second gold of world champion Carlos Yulo in gymnastics (artistic floor exercise), the Filipinos continued to pull away from the rest of the field with a total of 47 gold, 27 silver, and 16 bronze medals as of press time.
Vietnam was a far second with 22 gold, 26 silver, and 24 bronze medals, while Indonesia finally made its move and jumped to third place with a 12-18-17 tally.
Malaysia (12-3-11) was relegated to fourth, followed by Thailand (7-13-19).
Action slowed down a bit as Tisoy dumped rain in Northern Luzon that prompted the cancellation of scheduled events particularly water and some outdoor sports.
But it was business as usual in other events.
In lawn bowls, the Philippines beat Brunei, 23-11, in the preliminaries of the triple’s women, while the men’s baseball team blanked Cambodia, 12-0, to remain unbeaten.
Action in kurash ended Tuesday, with the host finishing with a 1-2-4 tally. Estie Gay Liwanen provided the lone gold for the country in the -65 kg category.
Vietnam dominated the kurash competitions, winning seven of the 10 gold medals disputed at the Laus Group Events Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
In softball, the Blu Boys nipped Indonesia, 7-3, while the Blu Girls routed the Indons, 11-1.
Action in aquatics will push through as scheduled on Wednesday at the New Clark City Aquatics Center.
World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo and wushu star Agatha Wong stole the limelight as they bagged their second gold medal.
Filipino bets in fencing settled for silver and bronze medals at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Vu Thanh An of Vietnam beat Filipino Christian Concepcion in their duel for the men’s individual sabre gold, scoring a 15-13 win.
Thailand’s Voragun Srinualnad and Singapore Clive Yi tang Liu settled for the bronze.
Another Philippine entry, Samantha Catantan, also fell short in her bid, losing in the semifinals to Amita Berthier of Singapore 15-9 in the individual women's foil event.
A total of 56 gold medals are at stake on Wednesday, including seven in swimming competition that will start at the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac. (PNA)