Team PHL now on 5th place in Singapore SEAG after bagging 22 golds

SINGAPORE, June 11 (PNA)-—After a mini-avalanche of gold medals the other day, the Philippines could only clinch one mint in women’s individual time trial of cycling on Thursday in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Marella Vania Salamat struck gold in her first international campaign by surprising the time trial field on a 30-km out-and-back course at the Marina Bay with a time of 44 minutes and 46.38 seconds.

Salamat’s gold was the 22nd for Team Philippines, which on Wednesday night, momentarily stood at No. 5 overall and shoved Indonesia to No. 6—until the Indons earned a sepak takraw title.

That gold medal by the 21-year-old Dentistry student at University of the East was also the first in women’s road race of Sea Games cycling since Baby Marites Bitbit topped the massed start race in Nakhon Ratchasima in 2007.

“Nagbunga ang lahat ng pinaghirapan ko,” said Salamat, who was lured to cycling by national coach Cesar Lobramonte one morning in 2013 when she was biking as part of her cross training at the Mall of Asia grounds with her bowling coaches Edward Coo and Orlyn Batistin.

“Kasama na rin ang pagtitiwala sa sarili at sa extensive training naming sa Pilipinas,” added Salamat, the eldest of the brood of three of Engineer and competitive bowler Rodolfo and dentist Marivic Salamat.

Mervin Guarte missed clinching the men’s 1,500 meters title of athletics when he settled for his second silver medal in the games with a time of 3:48.06. Vietnam’s Duong Van Thai, who shoved Guarte to second place in the 800m the other day, again clinched gold with 3:47.04. Thailand’s Yothin Yaprajan was third with a 3:49.35 clocking.

Pole vaulter Riezel Buenaventura managed 3.60 meters and claimed a podium finish in the women’s division topped by Thailand’s Chayaneesa Chomchuendee (4.10m) and Singapore’s Rachel Isabel Yang (3.90m).

Bowling finally made it to the medal tally board when Marie Alexis Sy, Lara Posadas and Maria Arles finished third in the women’s trios at the Orchid Bowl of the Orchid Country Club also on Thursday. Sy rolled 1195 pinfalls, Posadas made 1226 and Arles had 1187 for the team’s 3608 total.

Singapore finished 1-2 with Cherie Tan (1284), Bernice Lim (1313) and Shayna Ng (1366) winning the event with a high 3963 aggregate and Hui Fen New (1223), Jazreel Tan (1219) and Daphne Tan (1265) clinched the silver medal with 3707.

Wakeboarding, a non-Olympic sport but a medal discipline in the Games, showed gold medal potentials in Mark Howard Griffin and Maquel John Selga, who advanced to the men’s and women’s finals at the Bedok Reservoir on Thursday.

Griffing earned 68.33 points in the semifinals topped hy Thailand’s Jaemjan Padwat with 75 points. Selga was second with 34.44 points in the semifinals dominated by Singapore’s Sasha Christian, who had the best overall tally among the qualifiers with 61.45 points. The finals are set on Friday.

Golf could also make its way through the tally board, although a gold looked improbable.

Thirteen-year-old Harmie Nicole Constantino surged into contention for an individual bronze medal and the men’s team got itself in the hunt for a podium finish at the Sentosa Golf Club.

Constantino submitted a one-under 71 in the second round of the 54-hole play to occupy third place in the race for individual honors with 145, five shots off leader Suthavee Chanachai of Thailand and two strokes behind second-running Koh Hok Swee of the host team. Thai Pajaree Anannarukarn, however, was only one stroke behind to hound the Filipina kid. (PNA)