Richardson tops women's century dash; Chua, archers deliver

Published May 19, 2022, 12:37 AM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Kayla Richardson emerged as the fastest woman in the regional meet by topping the 100-meter sprint on a day when gold medals came in trickles for Team Philippines at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday, May 18.

Kayla Richardson (PSC-POC Media)

Richardson clocked 11.60 seconds in delivering one of the three medals captured by the Filipinos at presstime.

It was sweet revenge for Richardson as she bested 200m winner Veronica Shanti Pereira of Singapore, who would up silver by a hairline with 11.62sec.

Richardson settled for bronze in the 200m event.

The women’s recurve team and Johann Chua also took the spotlight in archery and billiards.

Sisters Pia and Aby Bidaure, and Phoebe Amistoso squeaked past the trio of Thi Anh Nguyet Do, Thi Ngoc Ha and Thi Thanh Nhi Nguyen, 5-4, to clinch the gold medal and end Vietnam’s reign in the event.

Aby emerged as the heroine for the PH squad after hitting the bullseye in the final arrow of the shoot-off for a 10 with just 10 seconds left on the clock, eliciting loud cheers from other members of the team who watched the thrilling showdown from behind.

The Filipinas battled back with a 57-49 win in the fourth frame after trailing 1-2 in the first three, forcing a shoot-off that came down to Aby’s winning shot.

Chua, meanwhile, bested reigning US Open Pool champion Carlo Biado, 9-6, to capture the men’s 9-ball gold and complete a PH sweep in the event following Rubilen Amit’s victory in the women’s side Tuesday.

Chua, who won the bronze at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, broke away from a 5-all tie by winning three straight racks before taking advantage of Biado’s miscues to secure perhaps the biggest win of his pool career.

He posted convincing wins on his way to the final by defeating Laos’ Anongsak Obmalay (9-3), Vietnam’s Thanh Kien Dang (9-4) and Singapore’s Lian Han Toh (9-3).

Biado appeared poised to extend the match but missed the 8-ball, allowing Chua to clean out the rack before kneeling on the floor to celebrate the win.

Chua later got his arm raised by Biado, who was equally delighted to see the fellow national team member get his winning moment in the Games.

Earlier, Chua and Biado’s teammate, Francisco Dela Cruz, lost to Tuan Pham Quoc, 1-0, to settle for the 1-cushion carom singles bronze.

Legendary cue artist Efren “Bata” Reyes also lost Vietnamese Tran Thanh Tan Nguyen, 100-55, to claim the bronze medal in the men’s 1-cushion carom.

Despite the defeat, Reyes still received a warm standing ovation from the crowd. Nguyen even took a selfie with the 67-year-old icon dubbed as “The Magician” after the match, who received rockstar treatment from Vietnamese fans at the venue.

At the Hai Duong Gymnasium, the table tennis pair of Richard Gonzales and John Russel Missal gave everything they could but fell short in the crunch to Singaporeans Zhew Chew and Shao Feng Poh, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10, for the silver medal.

Still, it was a big improvement for the team who managed only a bronze at the 2019 edition.

In fencing, the men’s foil team of Nathaniel Perez, Sammuel Tranquilan, Prince John Francis Felipe and Michael Nicanor could only come up with a bronze after yielding to the Malaysians, 45-40, in the semis.

The women’s sabre team of Jylyn Nicanor, Queen Denise Dalmacio, Allaine Nicole Cortey, Kemberly Camahalan also managed the bronze after a 45-29 semis loss to Thailand.

At the Heron Lake Golf course, Rianne Malixi came through with a chip-in birdie on the fourth playoff hole to beat Singapore’s Suannne Loh to power the PH team to a bronze medal in the women’s team match play event.

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas cruised past Thailand, 97-81, to remain unscathed in the women’s basketball competitions.

Afril Bernardino posted a double-double effort of 20 points and 16 rebounds in routing the same team they beat for the gold medal in the 2019 edition.

At the Vietnam National Convention Center, the Sibol MLBB team composed of the core members of the M3 World Champion Blacklist International opened its gold-medal bid by pummeling Malaysia and Laos for a 2-0 mark in the group stage of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports competition.

The Sibol Women’s Wild Rift team, for its part, was already assured of a silver finish at presstime after ousting Thailand, 3-1, in the semifinals.

The Philippines remains at third in the overall medal tally as of 7 p.m. with 36 gold, 45 silver and 59 bronze medals.

Host Vietnam is far on top of the standings with 116 golds, 70 silvers and 69 bronzes, while Thailand is at second with 46-53-73.

Singapore is at close fourth with 35-36-41 (gold-silver-bronze), followed by Indonesia with (34-48-43). Malaysia follows suit with 25-30-60, then Myanmar (6-7-14), Cambodia (3-5-15), Brunei (1-1-1), Laos (0-2-17) and Timor Leste (0-2-0).

 
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