Victories in wushu brighten PHL’s day

incheonINCHEON, South Korea—As the race for the gold heated up between host South Korea and China on the second full day of competitions, the Philippines could only settle for small and temporary victories won in wushu the night before to sort of shore up its campaign in the 17th Asian Games on Sunday.

Wushu artists Divine Wally got past Hong Kong’s Chao Ho Yee in women’s -52 kg; Francisco Solis booted out Pakistan’s Urhehman Shans in men’s -56 kg; and Jean Claude Saclag eliminated Myanmar’s Kyaw Lin Tun, all on 2-0 scores, late Saturday night to advance to the quarterfinals that are set for Monday.

But the Filipino athletes who competed on Sunday were shown the exit.

Kiyomi Watanabe provided some semblance of hope by ripping Gulnar Hayytbaeva of Turkmenistan in the round-of-16 of women’s 73 kg of judo, only to yield to Kana Abe of Japan, 2-0, in the quarterfinals later in the day. She then lost a slim chance in the repechage against Kazakhstan’s
Marian Urdabayeva.

Veteran rowers Alvin Amposta and Roque Abala were fifth in men’s double sculls but their hopes also looked dim in the event repechage. In men’s trap of shooting, Hangen Alexander Topacio was No. 28 and  Eric Ang was nine rungs down in a field
of 46.

Jessie King Lacuna was the best in his heat in the men’s 200-meter freestyle of swimming—his time of one minute and 53.20 seconds humiliating brothers Ismail (2:24.10) and Muhamid Muthasim Adnan (2:24.17) of the Maldives. But it wasn’t good enough for a top 8 slot.

Reyland Capellan also could not make a dent in men’s artistic gymnastics. He was 50th overall—placing 10th in the floor exercise and 11th in the vault.

Tennis also could not yield any flicker of hope. The men’s team of Treat Huey, PJ Tierro and Ruben Gonzales lost to second-seed Chinese-Taipei, 1-2—with Huey and Gonzalez winning the doubles battle— and the women’s squad of Denise Dy and Katharina Melissa Lehnert bowing to the hosts, 0-3.

China held on atop the medal standings with 12 gold, 10 silver and nine bronze medals, barely holding off South Korea, which had as many gold medals but with nine silver and 11 bronze medals. Japan was third with 7-8-10.

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