Yulo, dance athletes lead PH's golden harvest

Published May 16, 2022, 7:47 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippines continued its medal rampage at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Monday, May 16, 2022, anchored on victories from gymnast Carlos Yulo, the dancesport team and bowler Merwin Tan in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Carlos Yulo competes in vault en route to winning the gold medal. (POC-PSC Images)

The 22-year-old Yulo collected two more gold medals after ruling vault – an event where he is the reigning world champion – and horizontal bar.

The Tokyo Olympian scored 14.700 on two performances in vault, and 13.867 to share the gold medal with Dinh Phuong Thanh in horizontal bar.

Yulo’s other gold medals came from the individual all-around Friday, and the floor exercise and rings on Sunday.

Yulo could have made it six golds in total but only managed a silver finish in parallel bars with 14.900.

The national dancesport team also reaped four gold medals with Sean Mischa Aranar and Ana Leonila Manalo ruling single dance tango, Viennese waltz and all five dances standard; and Mark Jayson Gayon and Mary Joy Renigen triumphing in single dance slow foxtrot.

At the Ha Noi Royal City, Tan struck the gold in men’s individual bowling with a score of 1292 points to end the team’s gold medal drought.

The last time the country went home with the gold was at the 2011 edition in Indonesia courtesy of Frederick Ong in the same event.

Tan beat closest pursuers Ryan Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand and Leonard Lalisang of Indonesia, who tallied 1286 and 1221 for silver and bronze, respectively.

Meanwhile, Clinton Bautista took the spotlight with a record-breaking performance to retain the men’s 110-meter hurdles title.

Bautista clocked 13.78 seconds to reset the five-year-old national mark of 13.91 made by Patrick Unso at the 2017 Thailand Open.

As of 7 p.m., the Philippines has already harvested 27 gold, 32 silver and 42 bronze medals at third place with host Vietnam on top after hoarding 80 gold, 50 silver and 53 bronzes. Thailand is at second 34-33-50 (gold-silver-bronze), while Indonesia is at fourth with 23-35-27.

In billiards, legendary cue artist Efren “Bata” Reyes edged out Thailand’s Suriya Suwanasingh, 65-58, and reached the men’s 1-carom semifinal.

Reyes, who got a big applause from the Vietnamese crowd, prevailed over his Thai rival despite having to climb back from a 39-24 deficit.

In women’s basketball, Gilas Pilipinas dictated the second half to clobber Indonesia, 93-77, at the start of its title-retention campaign.

Afril Bernardino paced with 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals as the Filipina dribblers pulled away from a 40-38 halftime lead for good.

They take on old rival Thailand on Wednesday in a key battle between two teams that finished 1-2 in the previous edition.

In golf, Lois Kaye Go and Rianne Malixi rallied in the closing holes for a 2-0 win over Indonesia for a spot in the women’s team event semifinal.

The 15-year-old Malixi tailed Holly Hallim Victoria by one hole through most of the match until she caught fire by knocking in three straight birdies to post a 2 and 1 victory at the Heron Lake course.

Go, 23, a member of the team that won the gold in 2019, also pulled off a come-from-behind 1-up win over Ida Ayu Indira Melati Putri after trailing by as many as two holes.

The Filipinas take on top seed Thailand, which took a bye, on Tuesday.

While the women’s team advanced, the men’s team bowed out after suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Indonesia.

The national men’s volleyball team, meanwhile, bowed out of the competition after absorbing its second straight loss, this time, against Thailand, 20-25, 27-29, 22-25.

In fencing, the men’s team sabre of Christian Concepcion, Sandro Antonio Sia, Danielle Villanueva and John Dayro clinched the bronze after losing to Thailand, 45-29.

Not to be outdone Sunday night, William Morrison led the national athletics team’s medal quest after retaining the men’s shot put gold medal at the My Dinh Sports Stadium.

Morrison successfully defended his title by heaving 18.14 meters to dominate the field that include Thailand’s Jakkapat Noisri, who took home the silver with 17.32m, and Malaysia’s Muhammad Ziyad Bind Zolkefli, who bagged the bronze with 17.20m.

Janry Ubas also came away with a silver medal in men’s long jump after posting 7.73m behind eventual champion Trong Nguyen Tien of Vietnam, who leapt 7.80m.

Still eager to cop more medals, Ubas returned an hour later and grabbed the decathlon bronze with 6977 points behind eventual silver medalist Aries Toledo, who scored 7469.

Sonny Wagdos and Joida Gagnao also contributed bronze medals in their respective events.

Wagnos timed 16 minutes and 35.890 seconds in the men’s 5000m while Gagnao clocked 10:41:690 in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.