SEA Games: Pinoys amp up medal chase, but gap with rivals widening


Posted at Aug 23 2017 02:11 AM

In one day, the Philippines doubled its medal take, but its best production so far in these Southeast Asian Games wasn't enough to put the national team on the same level as the competition heavyweights in Kuala Lumpur.

The Filipinos entered Tuesday with a total haul of 15 medals through a week's worth of games, then finished the day with a 5-5-5 gold-silver-bronze tally to hike its total to 8-11-11.

Track star Eric Cray and gymnastics took center stage for the Philippines, with Cray copping his third straight title in the 400 meters, and Reyland Capellan and Kaitlin de Guzman providing an unlikely source of titles thanks to their respective performances in the men's floor exercise and women's uneven bars.

Wushu's Agatha Wong (women's taijiquan) and fencer Brennan Louie (men's individual foil) also topped the podium. 

The Filipino silver medalists on Tuesday were: Hanniel Abella (fencing), women's individual epee; Cray (athletics), 100 meters; Jayson Macaalay (karate), men's kumite under-60 kilograms; Nathaniel Perez (fencing), men's individual foil; and Rexor Tacay (karate), men's kumite under-67 kilograms.

The bronze winners were: Orencio James Delos Santos (karate), men's kata; Richard Gonzales (table tennis), men's singles; Harlene Raguin (fencing), women's individual epee; Junna Tsukii (karate), women's kumite under-50 kilograms; and Roxanne Ashley Yu (swimming), women's back stroke.

But as the Philippines produced its strongest single-day showing, its regional rivals did the same and in some cases even more.

Vietnam, which sits third in the medal standings, and Thailand (fourth) relied on their swimmers, and track and field athletes to put some distance between them and the Filipinos.

Malaysia continued its march toward the overall championship by winning 12 gold medals on Tuesday to hike its total to 40 mints.

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