SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The modern-pentathlon duo of Samuel German and Princess Arbilon scored a come-from-behind win to claim for the hosts the gold medal in beach-laser-run mixed relay in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games at Subic Boardwallk here on Thursday afternoon.
German and Arbilon took an early lead when the 17-year-old Arbilon hit her target first faster than the four competitors from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Thailand’s Muktapha Changhin eventually out-sprinted Arbilon in the run leg, until German helped the Philippines retake the lead by immediately hitting his target in the shoot leg.
Narong Deck Taparak of Thailand then overtook German just before the first turn that wowed the crowd.
Taparak kept a seemingly safe distance ahead of German but German, in what was initially thought as a sign of overconfidence, pressed his index finger on his lips when he passed in front of the crowd.
In the last 100 meters, Taparak was still about three lengths ahead but German made his move in the last 30 meters, out-sprinting Taparak to the finish line to the crowd’s delight.
“Parang pakiusap ko na huwag sila maingay kasi hindi ako sanay talaga na maingay kapag kailangan ko na mag-focus,” German said afterwards of his gesture, clarifying that he didn’t mean to be smug.
Philippine Modern Pentathlon Association president and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez was teary-eyed during the interview as he came to German’s defense.
The PMPA is the sport’s national governing body.
“Tahimik na tao kasi ’yan and mas gusto niya talaga na tahimik ’yung paligid niya, which his his personality. But I’m so proud sa achievement niya and the way he help his team win the gold,” said Gomez.
German and Arbilon tallied a time of 13 minutes and 27.34 seconds while Thailand clocked 13 minutes and 28.32 seconds to settle for silver.
Indonesia’s Frada Saleh and Cintya Nariska (13 minutes, 59.54 seconds) earned a bronze.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.