Gina Iniong-Araos and Jean Claude Saclay struck the gold medals in kickboxing against their Thai opponents to seal the country’s campaign Friday night on a high note in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Iniong displayed her experience in beating Waraporn Jaiteang, 2-1, to capture the women’s low kick -60kg division gold, while Saclag outplayed Chaleamlap Santidongsakun with a similar 2-1 score to rule the men’s low kick 63.5kg division.
The twin victories came after a series of heartbreaking finals defeats from Renz Dacquel, Gretel De Paz, Claudine Veloso and Zephania Ngaya that settled them for the silver medal.
All four bowed with identical 3-0 scores.
Dacquel lost to Vietnam’s Nga Nguyen Thi Hang in the women’s full contact -48kg, De Paz bowed to Indonesia’s Diandra Ariesta Pieter in the women’s full contact -56kg, Veloso yielded to Indonesia’s Amanda La Loupatty in the women’s low kick -52kg, and Ngaya succumbed to Vietnam’s Van Huynh Thi in the women’s full contact -63kg.
With the performances, the kickboxing team wrapped up their campaign with two gold, four silver and two bronze medals courtesy of Honorio Banario and Emmanuel Cantores, who lost their semifinal matches two days back in the men’s low kick -70kg and 61kg, respectively.
Their feat was one gold medal short of their 2019 edition performance where they won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal.
It also hiked the Philippines’ overall medal haul to five golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronze medals.