PH continues gold rush, vaults to 3rd in medal count

By Mark Angelo Mañez

Philippine athletes kept their momentum on overdrive as they plowed eight more golds after four days of competition at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam Sunday


Agatha Wong vaulted back in form following her silver medal the day before with a picturesque performance in the Women's Taijijian event. She tallied 9.71 points from the judges, nipping Vietnam's Thi Min Huyen Tran (9.70) and Thi Kieu Thang Tran (9.69) for gold.

Kim Mangrobang meanwhile blazed through concrete and contributed a second gold medal, this time in Duathlon. The triathlon triple champion crossed the line at 2:13:12, wat ahead of Malaysia's Tahira Najimunissa Muhammad Zaid (+1:10) and Zahra Putri Bulan Aprilla (+1:37) of Indonesia.

World Champion gymnast Carlos Yulo became the first triple gold winner after collecting two more gold medals in both floor exercise and still ring apparatus. He scored an impressive 15.200 in his pet event, blowing away the opposition. Singapore's Terry Tay (14.033) came in for silver while Khang Trinh Hai (14.000) of hosts Vietnam completed the podium. 

In the still ring apparatus, Yulo went full throttle as he flexed his way for another gold with a near-flawless performance scoring 14.400. Vietnam's  Le Than Thung (13.800) and Nguyen Van Khanh Phong (13.500) completed the podium.

Not to be outdone, Aleah Finnegan also strutted her way en route to giving the country its fifth gold in the sport with her impressive performance at the vault. She scored 13.133 with Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Quynh Nhu (13.033) and Rifda Irfanaluthfi (12.817) of Indonesia joining her in the podium.

Elsewhere, William Morrison III struck yet another SEA Games record in the Men's Shot put inside the My Dinh National Stadium. He threw 18.14 meters, well ahead of Noisri Jakkapat of Thailand (17.32 m) and Muhammad Ziyad Bin Zolkefl (17.20 m) of Malaysia.

The dance floor turned into another walk in the park for the Filipinos after copping yet another gold in the Single Dance - Latin Cha cha event. Michael Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Sabalo strutted their way to gold after impressing the judges with their flawless execution. 

As of this writing, the Filipinos now have 81 medals under their belts, of which, 20 of them were gold and are good enough for third. Host vation Vietnam still remains well ahead of the competition after collecting 64 gold medals out of their 147 total. Thailand, meanwhile, engaged themselves with the Philippines in the medal tally and are currently in second, one gold ahead of the Filipinos.
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