ANGELES CITY—The Philippines collected 7 gold medals in Day 2 of Southeast Asian Games arnis at Angeles University Foundation here on Monday.
The Filipinos were so dominant that it reached its 12-gold medal target by nearly wiping out the competition in the padded stick tournament.
The women’s team ran out the field, thanks to Sheena Belmonte (bantamweight), Jedah Mae Soriano (featherweight), Ross Ashley Monville (lightweight) and Abegail Abad (welterweight).
Belmonte beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Huong of Vietnam in the final round, while Soriano also did likewise against Oo Maw Maw of Myanmar.
Monville also came out triumphant against Myanmar’s Aye Moe Moe even as Abad outclassed Nguyen Thi Cuc of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, the men’s side claimed 3 gold with Jesfer Huquire leading the charge.
Huquire cruised his way to the medal round before outclassing Vietnam’s Van Cong Quoc for the gold in the men’s padded stick bantamweight division.
Elmer Manlapas was more dominating against another Vietnamese, Duc Tri Nguyen, who was overmatched in their featherweight final.
Carloyd Tejada brought the country’s gold medal count to 8 by beating Vietnam’s Yuong Tahn Tung in the finals of the welterweight division.
“Marami kaming struggles na pinagdaanan pero nakamit pa rin natin ’yung gintong medalya na inaasam talaga natin,” said the Baguio-born Manlapas.
“ ’Yung moment na nananalo ka ‘yung ‘di umuubra ang kalaban mo, ang sarap ng feeling.”
Meanwhile, Billy Joel Valenzuela won silver after falling short against Yong Mengly of Cambodia in the lightweight class.
“I’m so proud of these guys, they made our sport so popular and people are watching them. I’m getting emotional, I’m so proud of these boys,” said Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF) president, Sen. Miguel Zubiri.
On Sunday, the Philippines won 5 of the total 8 gold medals at stake in the live-stick, full-contact arnis competition.
The action continues on Tuesday with the anyo (form) competition, where there will be 4 gold medals on the line.
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