Eric Cray shines on another lean PH day, but boxing offers golden boost
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The Philippines’ gold-medal machine in the Southeast Asian Games has slowed down in back-to-back days, but there is hope that it will return to its normal working rate.
Expectations are high for boxing to breathe new life into the Philippines’ campaign after athletics veteran Eric Cray bagged the lone gold on Thursday, May 11, as he captured a sixth consecutive men’s 400m hurdles crown.
Cray, 34, ruled the event he first won in the 2013 edition in Myanmar to prevent a gold shutout for the Philippines, which also clinched just one gold a day prior courtesy of soft tennis’ Joseph Arcilla.
“It feels great,” said Cray, who hiked his overall SEA Games gold tally to eight.
The Philippines remained at sixth place in the medal table with 27 golds, but boxing offers a major boost as nine Filipinos advanced to the finals of their respective weight divisions.
Carlo Paalam (men’s bantamweight) and Paul Julyfer Bascon (men’s lightweight) joined Nesthy Petecio (women’s featherweight), Rogen Ladon (men’s flyweight), Norlan Petecio (men’s welterweight), Irish Magno (women’s bantamweight), Riza Pasuit (women’s light welterweight), Ian Clark Bautista (men’s bantamweight), and John Marvin (men’s light heavyweight) in gold-medal contention.
Paalam beat Timor Leste’s Edegar da Silva by unanimous decision, while Bascon pulled off a second-round knockout of Cambodia’s Touch Davit.
The boxing finals will be held from May 13 to 14 at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center here.
Back in athletics, Robyn Brown fell short of clinching athletics’ fourth gold in this SEA Games as she settled for silver in the women’s 400m hurdles, where she yielded to Vietnam’s Thi Huyen Nguyen.
It was still an upgrade for Brown, though, after she copped bronze in Vietnam last year.
Other athletics standouts Sarah Dequinan (women’s heptathlon) and Ronne Malipay (men’s triple jump) clinched silvers as well.
Sibol – the Philippines’ esports team – also missed out on a gold as it bowed to Indonesia in the women’s Mobile Legend finals.
Other silvers of the day came from kun khmer’s Kristian Narca (men’s 57kg), fencing’s Noelito Jose (men’s epee individual), and swimming’s Thanya dela Cruz, Jasmine Alkhaldi, Miranda Renner, and Teia Salvino (women’s 4x100m medley relay).
Aside from boxing, the Philippines banks on weightlifting and taekwondo to add to the gold haul before the SEA Games closes on May 17. – Rappler.com