HANOI—Rubilen Amit, Eric Cray and Kurt Bryan Barbosa snatched gold medals on Tuesday and although the mints came in trickles, the Philippines remained in the thick of the fight for the second and third places in the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Amit topped the women’s 9-ball for the country’s first gold medal in billiards at the Hadong District Sporting Hall, a victory that was expected of the multiple champion of local and international pool crowns.
Amit beat Singapore’s Jessica Chan, 7-2, in the finals, with the Philippines guaranteed of another gold medal in men’s 9-ball as Carlo Biado faces Johann Chua in an all-Filipino finals on Wednesday.
Tokyo Olympian Barbosa, on the other hand, defeated Jaijulla Panachai of Thailand, 16-7, to dominate the men’s -54 kgs Kyorugi of taekwondo at the Tay Ho Gymnasium in Hanoi.
Barbosa immediately got a congratulatory handshake from Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee which, like the Philippine Sports Commission, are fully supporting the Team Philippines campaign.
Over at the My Dinh National Stadium, Cray proved his legs are ageless at 33 and annexed a seventh career gold medal by ruling the men’s 400 meters hurdles.
Cray clocked 50.41 seconds to clinch his fifth straight 400m hurdles’ SEA Games gold medal. He has won the event since 2013 in Myanmar.
The Philippines has amassed 33 gold medals that went with 37 silvers and 46 bronzes as dusk set in on Tuesday, a haul that was good for third place behind host Vietnam and Thailand.
The hosts continued to create separation in the race for the overall championship with 95 golds—with 62 silvers and as many bronzes—more than double the 40 golds the Thais have won so far.
Singapore was six golds behind the Philippines with 27, while Indonesia had 26 and Malaysia 21 gold medals.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes