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Palace hails Diaz for ending Olympic drought



Hidilyn Diaz, 25, of Zamboanga City, ended the Philippines’ 20 year Olympic medal drought with a silver finish in the Women’s 53-kg Weightlifting category early Monday morning.

After 20 years of heartbreak, Diaz lifted a total of 212 kg during the event while also lifting the hopes of the entire nation on her young shoulders. With pure will and a little bit of luck, Diaz became the first-ever Filipina, and won the nation’s first-ever medal outside of boxing.

Shortly after winning, the Malacañang Palace hailed Diaz’s feat.

“The Philippines and the president are honored and proud of Hidilyn Diaz’s silver medal win at the Rio Olympics,” said Palace spokesperson Ernesto Abella on behalf of the country.

“We extend our sincerest congratulations and celebrate the end of the medal drought. Truly change has come.”



Philippine team exceeds expectations in AIMAG



Chef de mission Monsour Del Rosario hardly expected a deluge of medals in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

So it came as a big surprise when Filipino athletes produced far more than what Del Rosario had asked for.

“We succeeded and exceeded the country’s expectations in the AIMAG,” said Del Rosario, the Makati City congressman who also sits as secretary general of the Philippine Taekwondo Association.

The Philippines ended its 12-day stint with two gold, 14 silver, and 14 bronze medals in the biggest continental sportsfest next to the quadrennial Asian Games.

It overshadowed the one-gold, two-bronze performance of Filipino athletes in the previous AIMAG held in 2013 Incheon, South Korea.

“We didn’t make any bold projections and just believed that our athletes can accomplish it,” said Del Rosario, who — along with karatedo secretary general and deputy chef de mission Raymund Lee Reyes — took care of the 116 Filipino athletes who participated in 17 sports.

Jiu-jitsu grapplers Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez captured the two golds worth PHP 2 million each from the Philippine Sports Commission, as provided for by Republic Act 10699 or the amended Sports Incentives Act.

Silver medalists led by Olympian Hidilyn Diaz; trackster Eric Cray; muay fighter Phillip Delarmino, cue aces Chezka Centeno, Rubilen Amit; bowler Kenneth Chua; and the dancesport tandem of German Enriquez and Danella Publico will earn P1 million each from the government.

The 62-nation Games, which included the Oceania region headed by Australia and New Zealand, ended with a lavish closing ceremony late Wednesday night at the 35,000-seater Ashgabat Olympic Stadium.

Completing the silver performers are poomsae specialists Rodolfo Reyes Jr. and Jocel Lyn Ninobla; the men’s rapid chess team under-23 of international masters Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina; and jiu-jitsu’s Marc Alexander Lim, Jenna Kaila Napolis, and Gian Dee.

Taekwondo jins Kirstie Elaine Alora, Francis Agojo, Kristopher Uy; and wrestlers Alvin Lobreguito and Jefferson Manatad wound up with bronze medals, as well as kurash grappler Al Rolan Llamas, lifter Kristel Macrohon, and cue master Carlo Biado.

Joining them are the women’s rapid team under-23 starring woman grandmaster Janelle Frayna and woman Fide master Shania Mae Mendoza, and the dancesport pair of Gerald Jamili and Cherry Parcon.

Story and Photo from PSC-POC Media Group

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Muay Thai

Phillip Delarmino advances to Muay Thai -57kg finals



Muay Thai fighter Phillip Delarmino advanced to the finals after he scored a 30-27 win over Rusdem Bayramdurdyyew of Turkmenistan in their -57kg semifinals match in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Wednesday in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Delarmino, a silver medalist in the Asian Beach Games in 2014 and second placer during the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, was the more dominant fighter in the rings, throwing a deluge of punches and kicks that overwhelmed his Turkman opponent and the highly partisan crowd at the Martial Arts Arena here.

The 26-year-old Delarmino from Iloilo City won in all three rounds, which secured him a spot in the finals against Thailand’s Chotichanin Kokkrachai, who entered the championship match by scoring a similar 30-27 victory over Almaz Sarsembekov of Kazakhstan.

The gold medal game is scheduled Thursday evening at the Muay Thai Arena.

“Nahirapan din ako sa kalaban ko, pero effective naman yung game plan namin ni coach (Billy Alumno),” said Delarmino. “Napag-aralan namin (Turmen) dahil sa last two fights ko ganun lang plano ko… clear na kunin namin every round.

“Mahirap kasi kung dumikit ang laban tapos ang kalaban host country pa.”

Delarmino said they have studied the moved of his Thai, and hopes that their strategy would be effective for him to finally secure a gold medal in the sport that Thailand invented.

“Nakita na namin mga laban nya (Kokkrachai), meron kaming gameplan para sa kanya. Kaya naman, Sana makuha natin yung gold sa finals,” said Delarmino, who reached the quarterfinals in last August’s Muay World Games in Poland.

Jin Francis Agojo and wrestler Jefferson Manatad settle for bronze

The fighters from taekwondo and belt wrestling settled for a bronze each after Francis Aaron Agojo lost to Jang Jun of South Korea (34-9) in the -58kg semifinals, while Jefferson Manatad fell to Kazakhstan’s Aldos Kulmanbetov (5-0) in the -80kg Classic Style final four.

Wrestlers Noemi Tener (women’s classic style -60kg), Grace Loberanes (-50kg), Michael Vijay Cater (men’s classic style -55kg), Christof Hofmann Jr. (-90kg) and Jonathan Maquilan (-65kg) didn’t make it to the medal rounds.

Dessa Delos Santos finishes fifth in weightlifting

Dessa Delos Santos wound up fifth in the women’s weightlifting following a combined lift of 184kg in the women’s 58kg division.

Medal Update

The Philippines is running 13th overall with a medal count of 2 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals.

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Cielo Honasan’s golden heater continues; Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta delivers once again



The Philippines, headed by teenage sprint phenom Cielo Honasan and seasoned powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, rode on its eight-gold haul the day before by raking in five yesterday in the ninth ASEAN Paralympic Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Cielo Honasan’s golden heater continues

ASEAN-Paralympic-Games---Athletics---Cielo-HonasanHonasan, 15, blitzed her way to the 400m gold for T44 and T45 combined in 63.35 seconds to add to her mints in the 100m and 200m the previous days that underscored her status as the games’ queen of the tracks.

She bested Thailand’s Gagun Pagjiraporn, who started out strong but fizzled in the end to settle for the silver in 66.41.
Cambodian Vet Chanta the bronze in 76.43.

Interestingly, Honasan, classified as T44, beat a higher classified runner in Pagjiraporn, who is a T45.

It was a scintillating performance by Honasan, a polio victim who was discovered competing in the regular event of the Palarong Pambansa, as she will go home as the newest face of the country’s Para Games campaign.

Or you can call her the Lydia de Vega-Mercado of the Filipino para-athletes.

After her triumph, Honasan could only lay on her back and cried out of a combination of exhaustion and euphoria.

“I just couldn’t control my emotions, that’s why I cried,” said Honasan, who is set to receive a P150,000 for each gold she won as an incentive mandated by law.

Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta delivers once again

Dumapong-Ancheta, one of the Filipino Para Games pioneers, for her part, continued to cast her mammoth shadow at the powerlifting competition as she captured the over 86kg gold with a lift of 116kg.

Indonesia’s Sriyanti and Malaysia’s Sharifah Raudzah Binti were reduced to ashes by Dumapong-Ancheta’s dominating effort by 105kg and 95kg, respectively.

Dumapong-Ancheta could have broken her record of 118kg but opted not to attempt anymore knowing she had achieved what she hoped for.

“I just want the gold, nothing else,” said the 43-year-old Dumapong-Ancheta, the country’s first Paralympic medal winner after taking home a bronze in Sydney 17 years ago.

Honasan’s mint was the Philippines’ eighth in centerpiece athletics, three more than the five it won in the 2015 Singapore staging.

It was also the country’s 16th gold overall on top of 17 silvers and 18 bronzes to match its Singapore output.

Three more golds in athletics

The other three triumphs were provided for by three-wheeled sprinter Prudencia Panaligan, wheelchair-bound thrower Cendy Asusano and blind thrower Rosalie Terrefiel.

Panaligan nailed gold Nnumber 15 after she reigned supreme in the 200m for T53/54 in 33.46, besting Thai Tpat Chatyotsakorn (33.93) and Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Xuan Anh (34.50).

Ruth Opena was fourth in 34.77.

Asusano, 27, heaved 14.06m to cop the discus throw gold for F54, besting Vietnam’s Tran Thi Tu with a 12.46m, who claimed the silver.

Marites Burce grabbed the bronze with an 11.88m.

It was Asusano’s second gold after she ruled javelin for F54 and F55 combined Monday.

Malaysian Hemala Devi Eni Kutty, the gold winner in the last two Para Games edition, ended up with a silver with a 20.37m.
Jesebel Tordecilla added a bronze to her javelin silver by heaving 13.59m in the women’s discus throw for F55.

Over at the Dataran Putrajaya track, Arthus Bucay (C5) and Godfrey Taberna (C4) went hard for the gold but wound up with a silver each.

Bucay, a 36-year-old Paralympian who is coming off a golden effort in the individual time trial Wednesday and two more silvers in the one-kilometer track and 4000 individual pursuit days before, checked in with the same time as Zuhaire Bin Ahmad Tarmzi in 1:24.11 but lost via photo finish.

It was the same story for Taberna, who had the same clocking of 1:24.11 with Malaysian Mohd Najib Bin Turano and Indonesian Sufyan Saori but consoled himself with a silver.

Turano took the gold wile Saori the bronze.

Swimming fails to match Wednesday’s output

After a two-gold harvest the day before, the National Anthem wasn’t played at the Aquatics Center in Bukit Jalil as the Philippines settled for a pair of bronzes by Roland Sabido in the 100m backstroke for S9 and Gary Bejino in the 100m back for S7.

On deck

The Philippines is expecting more on Friday when it is expected to win more golds at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium and Hall 3 of the MITEC grounds where the chess team, spearheaded by double-gold medal winner Sande Severino, is eyeing to improve its three-gold collection.

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Hidilyn Diaz, Eric Cray miss out on gold



Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Filipino-American Eric Cray missed out on winning gold medals in their respective events, as the two settled with silver medals in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) on Tuesday night at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex in Turkmenistan.

Hidilyn Diaz remains hopeful: ‘Kaya ko pa pala’

Diaz had a total of 204 points to place second behind China’s Liao Qiuyun (208) for the combined snatch, and clean and jerk in the 53kg category. Turkmenistan’s Kristina Skermetova settled for bronze (196).

“Kaya ko pa pala,” said the 26-year-old native of Zamboanga City. “Sabi ko nga ayoko na, gusto ko na mag-give up kasi nahirapan ako mag-disciplina.

“Pero hindi din ako nag-give up… kaya ko pala, napatunayan ko na kaya ko pa, wala sa age.

“Hindi dahil nanalo ka na hindi ka na puwedeng bumalik pa, pwuede pa pala,” Diaz added.

Diaz was already down three points after her best score of 90 kilos out of three attempts in snatch to Liao’s 93. The two lifted similar weights of 110 kilos to start the clean and jerk.

Diaz failed to lift 114 kilos in her first attempt in the clean and jerk, but was able to eventually carry the same weight on her third and final attempt. Her rival from China lifted 115 kilos on her second attempt to win the gold.

“Nakita ko na siya sa China Weightlifting Games nila, siya yung first,” said Diaz. “Pare-parehas lang silang malakas (China)… parehas lang kami na malakas, (but) sa buhat ko kanina konting adjustment lang.”

Eric Cray settles for 60m silver

Cray likewise finished second in the 60m run as he clocked 6.63 seconds, behind the 6.55 seconds of reigning champion Hassan Taftian of Iran. Iran’s Reza Ghasemi got the bronze (6.64).

Long jumper Janry Ubas missed out a podium finish as he placed fourth (7.40m) behind gold medalist Nguyen Tien Trong of Vietnam (7.48m), Amila Pedige of India (7.45m), and Chan Ming Tai of Hong Kong (7.44m).

Kirtstie Alora, Kris Uy fall in semis

Kirstie Elaine Alora and Kristopher Robert Uy settled for bronze medals after losing in the semifinals. Alora lost to Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova (16-8), while Uy to China’s Liu Jintao (27-10).

NU standouts lead tennis team

National University standouts Clarice Patrimonio and Khim Iglupas are playing in the second round as of press time.

Patrimonio is up against Aldila Sutjiadi of Indonesia after beating Tuvalu’s Saintly Molotii, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round, while Iglupas is facing Thailand’s Chompoothip Jundakate after her 6-0, 6-1 win over Fiji’s Vienna Kumar also last Monday.

In the men’s singles, Jason Patrombon lost in the first round against Uzbekistan’s Farrukh Dustov, 7-5, 6-2. Patrombon will still see action in the mixed event with Iglupas, who will likewise team up with Patrimonio with women’s doubles.

Wrestling team struggles in belt wrestling

All Filipinos got wiped out in belt wrestling at the Main Indoor Stadium.

These include Joseph Angana (70kg freestyle), Michael Carter (55kg classic), Jonathan Maquilan (65kg classic), Grace Loberanes (50kg classic), Noemi Tener (60kg classic) and Chris Hofmann Jr. (90kg free).

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