KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- (UPDATED) Rising star Kaitlin de Guzman delivered the Philippines' second gymnastic gold of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games with her victory in the uneven bars on Tuesday at MiTEC here.
The 17-year-old de Guzman scored 12.875 points to rule the uneven bars category and end the country’s 20-year old gold-medal drought in women’s artistic gymnastics.
Tracie Ang of Malaysia settled for the silver medal with 12.550 points, while Rifda Irfanaluthfi of Indonesia took the bronze with 12.075 points.
“I am so happy now that I won a gold medal representing the Philippines,” said de Guzman, a senior at Epic Charter Home School in Dallas, Texas.
Watch her winning performance here:
De Guzman’s feat didn’t come as a surprise.
Her mother, Cintamoni Dela Cruz-de Guzman, ruled the same event in the 1995 SEA Games in Chiang Mai and was part of the squad that emerged with a gold medal in team events in the Jakarta SEA Games in 1997.
But Mrs. de Guzman maintained that she didn’t see it coming.
“We were not expecting her to win (the gold medal) since this is just her first SEA Games,” she said. “All we were hoping is for her to qualify in the finals. This victory is a major surprise. That’s why we’re so happy with this achievement.”
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