Obiena retains title and resets SEA Games pole vault file; triathletes, kickboxers additionally triumph


EJ Obiena wins another pole vault gold in the SEA Games. SEA GAMES POOL PHOTO

EJ Obiena leads a flurry of gold medals on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

HANOI—A marketing campaign that began swimmingly because the clock struck midnight Saturday and picked up extra gold medals at dawn suffered some beautiful defeats because the day wore on.

EJ Obiena, nevertheless, leapt in to the rescue.

The Tokyo Olympian and reigning Asian file holder proved his mettle within the thirty first Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Saturday, retaining his pole vault title and setting a brand new meet file at My Dinh National Stadium.

“The conditions were hard [and] too many [of my competitors] were having cramps,” mentioned the 6-foot-2 Obiena, the world No. 5 in males’s pole vault. “But I didn’t get cramps, so that’s a good thing.”

Right on the primary try, Obiena nailed the SEA Games gold medal—his second straight—with a 5.40-meter leap. After consulting his dad, Obiena went for the meet file and in addition clinched it in only one go. He registered 5.46m, bettering his personal 2019 mark of 5.45.

“I’m relieved, to be honest, and happy as well,” mentioned Obiena whose showcase of expertise erased months of unhealthy publicity over his spat with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association over liquidation points.

Humming machine

Two gold medals in kickboxing hiked the nation’s haul, at the same time as triathlon retained its males’s and girls’s titles to maintain Team Philippines’ medal machine buzzing.

“We were expecting this in the first place, but we never relaxed despite the confidence we have. They still did their homework,” mentioned nationwide triathlete coach George Vilog.

In kickboxing, 32-year-old Gina Iniong-Araos, pushed by the will to shush bashers who belittled her functionality to compete after she selected to boost a household amid a busy martial arts profession, bagged the gold after crushing Jaiteang Warapron of Thailand to say the ladies’s low-kick 60-kilogram gold medal.

“It has become a challenge for me, people who say that I should quit and just focus on taking care of my child,” mentioned Araos in Filipino.

Jean Claude Saclag turned again one other Thai, Chaleamlap Santidongsakum within the males’s 63-kg low kick, for the opposite kickboxing gold.

At dawn, Filipinos Fernando Casares and Kim Mangrobang stamped their class within the males’s and girls’s triathlon, which the nation has been dominating the previous two editions.

Groomed for Paris

The Filipino-Spanish Casares, already being groomed for the Paris Olympics, completed the course (1.5-kilometer swim, 40-km bike and 10-km run) in a single hour, 56 minutes and 57 seconds, virtually 4 minutes forward of fellow Filipino Andrew Kim Remolino, who took the silver.

Mangrobang captured her third straight crown after clocking 2:13:31, whereas teammate Raven Faith Alcoseba positioned third.

“This is planned. We want to continue our domination in triathlon,” mentioned Triathlon Association of the Philippines chief Tom Carrasco.

The 30-year-old Mangrobang will as soon as once more take the streets on Sunday because the nation hopes for one more sweep in duathlon (10km run, 40km bike, 10km run).

Among the day’s beautiful defeats got here from wushu princess Agatha Wong, whose flawless routine was lowered to second place by a extra daring Indonesian rival.

But the three-time champion took the loss with grace and attraction.

“I’m still very grateful,” mentioned the 23-year-old Wong. “With only two months of training [because of the pandemic], I was not expecting anything at all. I’m grateful also because they chose me for the national team.”

Wong delivered an error-free routine that generated 9.69 factors.

Unfortunately, Indonesian Alisya Mellynar opted for a extra daring efficiency at Cau Giay Gymnasium and gained the gold by two-hundredths of a degree (9.71).

“I just tried to not commit mistakes; as long as I don’t make mistakes in my routine, I’m okay with it,” Wong mentioned. She will take the stage as soon as once more on Sunday within the girls’s taijijian (with weapons) which she dominated in the course of the 2019 version within the Philippines.

Wong wasn’t the one misplaced gold on Saturday.

Gilas Pilipinas dropped out of title rivalry after dropping to Thailand, 21-17.

The No. 2-seeded males fell to the No. 3 Thais, who used their pace and long-distance taking pictures to most impact within the bodily contest at Thanh Tri Gymnasium.

Deadly accuracy

Finding no treatment towards an even bigger enemy that shot the basketball with lethal accuracy, the Philippines’ girls’s 3×3 squad additionally bowed to Thailand, 21-14, because the nation misplaced the 2 crowns it gained in 2019.

The males’s and girls’s groups have been attempting to salvage bronze at press time.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the nation lagged at fourth place with seven golds, 12 silvers and 15 bronzes. Vietnam is nicely on its method to supremacy anticipated of the host nation with a 31-18-26 tally. Indonesia (13-15-3), Malaysia (13-5-15) are at present at second and third. Thailand had 6-12-22 at fifth.

Rowing additionally settled for bronzes at Haipong Training Center, courtesy of Olympian Cris Nievarez in light-weight single scull, and Edgar Ilas and Zuriel Sumintac in males’s light-weight pair.

The Philippine males’s volleyball staff, in the meantime, was surprised by a vastly-improved Cambodia facet, 25-21, 24-26, 30-28, 29-27 at Quang Ninh Gymnasium.

The squad, led by Japan league imports Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo, gained a shock silver when it upset Thailand within the semifinals. Now, the staff might want to beat the Thais on Sunday simply to make it to the semifinals.

The girls’s volleyball staff, however, absorbed a lopsided 25-15, 25-13, 25-14 shellacking by the hands of defending champion Thailand.

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