Diaz bags first SEA Games gold; Pinoys pull away

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Diaz bags first SEA Games gold; Pinoys pull away

 SEA Games -Weightlifting 

Hidilyn Diaz emerged as the star of the show for Team Philippines on Monday when she finally bagged her first Southeast Asian Games gold with a dominant performance in women’s weightlifting.

Diaz, 28, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, lifted a total of 211kg in topping the women’s 55kg division before an animated crowd at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Diaz added her breakthrough SEA Games gold to her glowing collection of medals that also include a gold in the Asian Games and a bronze in the world championship.

Arnis also shared the limelight as it churned out five more gold medals to keep the Filipinos on top of the medal tally.

After winning 13 as of press time, Team Philippines improved its two-day gold medal tally to 35 on top of 19 silver and 10 bronze medals and continued to pull away from closest pursuers Vietnam (10-17-14) and Thailand (10-2-7).

Basketball and mountain bike made Monday more special after completing a sweep of the 3x3 and downhill events, respectively, while pencak silat, duathlon, and triathlon also added a gold each.

Led by Elmer Manlapaz, the Filipino arnis warriors dominated the men’s padded stick by winning three of the gold medals at stake while two others in the distaff side topped their respective events on the second day of action at the Angeles University Foundation.

Manlapaz ruled the featherweight class, Jesfer Huquire was tops in bantamweight, and Carloyd Tejada in the welterweight category. Sheena Del Monte  won the women’s bantamweight padded stick and Jedah Mae Soriano the women’s featherweight padded stick.

The surge sustained arnis’ first day romp which saw the country’s national sport won a total of five gold medals. In all, the arnis warriors had won a total of 10 gold medals, matching the same output of dancesport athletes last Sunday.

In basketball, the quartet of CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Newsome, and Jason Perkins sparked Gilas Pilipinas to the inaugural men’s 3x3 gold by whipping Indonesia in the finals 21-9, capping its unbeaten campaign. The women’s side of Afril Bernadino, Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, and Clare Castro got back at elimination round tormentor Thailand to win the gold 17-13.

Cyclists John Derick Farr and Lea Denise Belgira scored a twin kill in the mountain bike downhill that set the tone earlier for another gold rush for the Filipinos.

Edmar Tacuel delivered the first gold for pencak silat with a win in the men’s seni tunggal singles event, while Monica Torres topped the women’s duathlon individual event.

Triathlon contributed its third gold medal as Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna teamed up with Fernando Casares and John Chicano to rule the mixed team relay at the Subic Bay boardwalk. It was the second gold for both Mangrobang and Chicano, who ruled the men and women’s triathlon, respectively, on Sunday.  PR

There were silver medals along the way, too.

Billy Joel Valenzuela emerged a win short in the men’s padded stick (lightweight) of arnis, Celedonio Tayao settled for a runner-up finish in the benchcrest air rifle as shooting competitions got underway at the Marine Corps Center, and so did Eleazar Barba who finished second in the men’s mountain bike downhill race.