By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE Philippines’ medal haul in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia was padded early Monday after Agatha Wong added a wushu bronze in the women’s taijiquan and taijijian all-around event at the Jakarta International Expo.
A bemedalled Southeast Asian Games campaigner, Ms. Wong, 21, held her own in her event and impressed the judges and the crowd, which included Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Competed third in the lineup, Ms. Wong tallied a total of 19.36 points to wind up with the bronze behind gold medal winner Lindswell Lindswell of Indonesia with 19.50 points and silver medallist Juanita Mok Uen Ying of Hong Kong with 19.42 points.
The wushu bronze of Ms. Wong was in addition to the bronze medals that the Philippine men’s and women’s poomsae teams won in Day One on Sunday.
The men’s team of Dustin Jacob Mella, Jeordan Dominguez, and Rodolfo Reyes, Jr. beat the teams from Saudi Arabia and Iran in its first two outings before bowing to China, 8.180-7.830, in the semifinals.
The women’s trio of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto and Janna Dominique Oliva got past Hong Kong and Indonesia initially.
It fell in the semifinals to Korea’s Gwak Yeowon, Choi Dongah, and Park Jaeeun, 8.020-7.110.
Angling to add to the medal haul of the Philippines was swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi who qualified for the finals of the women’s 100m freestyle set later yesterday, with the sixth best qualifying time of 56.38 seconds.
As of 2 p.m. yesterday (Manila time), China continues to lead in the medal standings with nine gold, five silver, and four bronze medals, followed by Japan (3-6-5), and Korea (2-3-6).
Rounding out the top 10 were Iran (2-2-1), Indonesia (2-1-0), Kazakhstan (1-1-2), Uzbekistan (1-1-2), India (1-1-1), Chinese Taipei (1-0-4), Mongolia (1-0-1) and, Thailand (1-0-1).
Meanwhile, the Philippine national women’s volleyball team looks to build on its spirited performance on its Asiad debut on Sunday despite losing to Thailand.
Taking on Japan today, the Philippine volleybelles, making their first Asian Games appearance in 36 years, are angling to bounce back in their scheduled match at the Gelora Bung Karno complex in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippines stood strong early against powerhouse Thailand but just could not sustain it en route to the straight-sets defeat, 25-22, 25-12 and 25-15.
The Filipinas raced to an early 9-2 lead to start the game against the Thais but the latter came charging back to level the count at 21-all before eventually taking the opening set.
Thailand picked up from there on, keeping the Philippines at bay the rest of the way notwithstanding the latter’s attempts to take the fight to it, to complete the shutout.
Alyssa Valdez led the Philippines with seven points with Jaja Santiago and Kianna Dy adding six apiece.
“The team played well against Thailand despite the loss. I think the disposition of the team was great and hopefully we get to sustain that for the rest of the tournament,” said team captain Aby Marano following the game.
“We have to stay patient. Our opponents have been together for a longer time than us. Hopefully our supporters would stay patient as well,” she added.
In the Asian Games the Philippine women’s volleyball team looks to finish in the top four of its bracket in Group A to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Philippines-Japan game is set for 5:30 p.m. (Manila time).
By Michael Angelo S. Murillo