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32nd SEA Games

SEA Games: Jason Balabal tastes gold once more after 12-year wait

The legend of Jason Balabal continues.

The country’s flagbearer in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games ended a 12-year wait, taking gold in the minus-87 kilogram division of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games’ greco-roman wrestling tournament on Sunday at Chroy Changvar Convention Center in Cambodia.

Balabal overwhelmed the opposition in the three-man pool, beating Cambodia’s Keo Sophak, 4-0, and Singapore’s Aryan Bin Azman, 5-0, to score the country’s 43rd gold of the Games.

This was definitely a moment to remember for the now-37-year-old pride of Baguio.

Balabal, arguably the top wrestler in the country, took gold in freestyle back in 2009 and in greco-roman in 2011.

What came after were a string of heartbreaks.

In 2013, he placed second in greco-roman before the event was not held in Singapore and in Indonesia.

At home soil, he only took silver in greco-roman.

Last year in Hanoi, he copped two bronzes in both disciplines.

Now, Balabal can still say that he is still elite.

He now has nine SEA Games medal in his collection.

Michael Vijay Cater (55kg), Noel Norada (63kg), and Jason Baucas (72kg) all took silver in the sport.

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