SEA Games: Fernandez settles for bantamweight silver

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2017 04:15 PM | Updated as of Aug 24 2017 06:28 PM

Mario Fernandez of the Philippines (Blue) battles Chatchai Butdee of Indonesia (Red) in the finals of men's bantamweight class of the 29th Southeast Asian Games boxing competition Thursday at the MITEC Hall 8 in Kuala Lumpur. Butdee prevailed to clinch the gold medal. Photo from Philippine Sports Commission

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- (UPDATED) Filipino amateur standout Mario Fernandez fell agonizingly short of a third gold medal in the 29th Southeast Asian Games, as he lost to a Thai foe in the finals of the bantamweight tournament here on Thursday afternoon.

Matched up against a wily Thai fighter in Chatchai Butdee, Fernandez lost by points and settled for the silver medal at Hall 8 of MiTEC.

Though clearly disappointed, Fernandez was still thankful to have ended the bout without suffering any lasting damage at the hands of the Thai.

"Magulang talaga maglaro," he said of his foe.

"Kahit papaano, sa awa ng Diyos, kahit talo nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos dahil walang nangyari sa atin," he said. "Basta, pasalamat lang tayo sa Panginoon na walang masamang nangyari sa atin."

This is not the first time that Fernandez has fought – and lost – to Butdee.

In March 2016, he also bowed to the Thai pugilist in the Asian Oceanian Qualification of the International Boxing Association, where he was trying to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

"Dalawang beses na natalo," said Fernandez. "May kulang pa talaga. May kulang pa."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)