GOLD RUSH. Kevin Pascua of the Philippines and Mohd Redha Rozlan of Malaysia battle it out for individual male 100-meter gold in the obstacle course race of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday (Dec. 4, 2019). The Philippines swept all the four gold medals at stake in obstacle course which was play for the first time in the biennial meet. (Phisgoc photo)

MANILA – The Philippines obstacle course race team swept all four gold medals as the host country remains unthreatened on top of the medal tally of the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Kevin Pascua and Rochelle Suarez captured the gold for the Philippines in the individual male and female 100-meter events of the sports which was played for the first time in the biennial multi-sport meet.

Pascua finished the race in 29.92 to beat Malaysia Mohd Redha Rozlan who clocked 34.01 to settle for silver while Mark Julius Rodelas, also of the Philippines, took the bronze of the male 100-meter race class.

Suarez, on the other hand, ruled the female’s side in 46.70 seconds while teammate Milky Mae Tejares settled for the silver with the time of 47.88 seconds.

The Philippine team ruled both the 400-meter mixed team assist and 400-meter mixed team relays, all at the expense of teams from Malaysia.

The assist team is composed of Kyle Redentor Antolin, Kaizen dela Serna, Monolito Divina, and Deanne Nicole Moncada while members of the team relays are Diane Buhler, Jeffrey Reginio, Klymille Keilah Rodriguez and Nathaniel Sanchez.

Four of the 11 participating countries competed in the obstacle course race. Aside from the Philippines and Malaysia, Indonesia and Laos competed in the event.

Marly Martir also stole the limelight as she shot down two gold medals both in the women’s individual and team category of the shooting’s WA 1500 PPC competition at the Marine Corps Training Center in Makati City.

The 43-year-old Martir garnered a total score of 1,450-60x to beat Indonesian Pratiwi Kartikasari and Malaysian Yusof Yusliana Mohd who settled for silver and bronze medal, respectively.

Martir later teamed up with Franchette Shayne Quiroz and Elvie Baldivino to rule the team event with the score of 4,320-161x, beating Kartikasari and Mohd squads.

Swimmer James Daiparine halted the Philippines’ 10-year-gold drought, ruling the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in a record-breaking feat at the newly-built New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac.

Daiparine, 26, clocked in at 1:01.46 to narrowly beat Vietnamese Thanh Bao Pham who finished at 1:01.92.

The Filipino tanker also shattered his national record of 1:02.00 and SEA Games’ record of 1:01.60 set by Huu Nguyen of Vietnam 10 years ago.

The last time the Philippines won SEA Games gold in swimming was in 2009 Miguel Molina won a pair of mints in the men’s 200 and 400-meter individual medley while Daniel Coakley and Ryan Arabejo had one each in the men’s 50-meter freestyle and men’s 1,500-meter freestyle, respectively.

Kristel Macrohon also delivered a gold medal for the Philippines in the fourth day of competition, winning the women’s 71kg division to give the country its second gold medal at the end of the weightlifting competitions at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, who won the first gold medal in weightlifting, cheered for Macrohon who had a lift of 216kg (93kg in the snatch and 123kg in the clean and jerk) to relegate favorite Thi Van Nguyen of Vietnam to the silver. Nguyen had a total lift of 214kg (92kg in the snatch and 122kg in the clean and jerk). Indonesian Tsabitha Ramadan settled for the bronze medal with a total lift of 203kg.

After winning two golds and two silver, world champion gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo collected two more silver medals in the men’s horizontal bar and parallel bar of the gymnastic artistic competition at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Phoung Thanh Dinh of Vietnam won both the parallel bar and horizontal events.

As of press time, the Philippines has a total of 119 medals – 56 golds, 41 silvers and 22 bronzes followed by Vietnam which is far in second spot with 27 gold, 32, silver and 33 bronze medals and Malaysia with 21-12-22 tally.

Despite winning five more golds, Indonesia remains in fourth place with a total of 17-27-29 medals while Thailand slowed down with only two golds on Wednesday for 11-15-22 count followed by Myanmar (1-6-20), Brunei (1-5-5), Cambodia (1-3-17), Laos (0-0-6) and Timor-Leste which has yet to win a medal. (PNA)