April 22, 2024

Combative athletes from the Cordillera have raised the Philippine medal haul with their additional five gold, five silver, and nine bronze medals at the close of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The kickboxing team dominated by Cordilleran athletes hauled two gold, three silver, and six bronze medals with the gold medals courtesy of Kalinga’s son Jean Claude Saclag in the men’s lowkick and Claudine Veloso in the women’s K1 in the kickboxing event.

CORDILLERAN MEDALISTS — Two more true-blue Cordilleran athletes added two gold medals for the Philippines in the recently concluded 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Proud Abra taekwondo athlete and Olympian Kurt Barbosa won his third SEA Games gold me-dal in the men’s 54-kilogram. Ifugao son Jason Balabal, the Team Philippines flag bearer in the 2013 SEA Games, reclaimed the gold in the 82-kg. category of Greco-Roman wrestling. — PSC photo

Also adding three more gold medals are Ifugao’s Jason Balabal in the men’s 82-kilogram wrestling, Baguio City’s Crisa-muel Delfin in the arnis anyo non-traditional open weapon, and Abra’s Kurt Barbosa in the men’s 54-kilogram taekwondo, who are all veteran SEA Games medalists.

It was the third SEA Games gold medal for Barbosa, who represented the country in the Tokyo Olympics.

Striking silver medals are returning SEA Games kickboxing medalists Gina Iniong-Araos in the women’s kick-light, Abra’s Renalyn Dacquel in the women’s full contact, and Jeremy Pacatiw. The latter closed the country’s campaign for the 32nd SEA Games with a silver medal in the men’s K1 against Vietnamese Van Chinh Hoang, 0-3.

Veteran Benguet wrestler Jason Baucas bagged a silver medal in the men’s Greco Roman wrestling while Baguio City’s Gideon Padua repeated another silver medal win in the men’s wushu sanda 60-kg., which he also won during his debut in the 30th SEA Games.

Kickboxers winning a bronze medal apiece are Benguet’s son Kurt Lubrica in the men’s lowkick, Carlo Von Buminaang in the full contact, Jomar Balangui in the men’s lowkick 57-kg., Honorio Banario in the men’s lowkick 71-kg., Danny Kingad in the men’s full contact, and Daryl Chulipas in the men’s K1.

Baguio City’s bemedaled athlete Jeordan Dominguez and Justin Kobe Macario, meanwhile, won a bronze medal in the mixed freestyle team in taekwondo with teammates Darius Venerable, Juvenile Crisostomo, and Zyka Santiago.  

Baguio arnisadores Ezekyl Habig and Mack Pineda also earned bronze medals apiece with Habig in the men’s bantamweight full contact while Pineda teamed up with Jeric Arce and Mark Puzon to win in the men’s team anyo non-traditional open weapon.

Earlier, Cordilleran athletes also bagged one gold, four silver, and six bronze medals in jiu-jitsu, obstacle course racing, vovinam, and even in the newly added traditional Cambodian martial arts Kun Khmer and Kun Bokator.

The homegrown athletes contributed a total of six gold, nine silver, and 15 bronze medals to the country’s total medal haul of 58 gold, 86 silver and 116 bronze medals.

The Philippines placed fifth following Cambodia in fourth place with 81-74-126 medal haul, Indonesia with 87-80-109 medals in third, Thailand with 108-96-108 medals in second to overall champion Vietnam with 136 gold, 105 silver, and 114 bronze medals. – Ofelia C. Empian