PSC Kaila Napolis delivers the country’s first gold medal in jiu-jitsu in the 2023 SEA Games.

Action goes full blast for Pinoys

May 5, 2023 People's Tonight 347 views

PHNOM PENH – Obstacle racers will add two more gold medals to the Philippine campaign while entries in 16 more disciplines plunge into action Saturday, hours after the 32nd Southeast Asian Games were formally declared open Friday at the Morodok Techo Stadium here.

All-Pinoy battles in the finals of the men’s and women’s individual 100m event of obstacle racing assured the Philippines of two more gold medals, with the question of who will be wearing the shiny gold around their necks to be answered at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center Car Park starting at 8 a.m.

Kevin Pascua, who ruled the men’s class in the inaugural staging of the event in the Philippines in 2019, will duel for the gold with Mark Julius Rodelas while Precious Cabuya and Kaizen dela Serna dispute the women’s title as obstacle racing adds to the medal tally of the Philippines that stood at 2-2-3 before Friday’s opening ceremonies.

Cambodia, hosting the games for the first time, led the medal tally early on with a 5-4-0 harvest.

Among those doing battle Saturday are the country’s bets in athletics, swimming, 3×3 basketball, boxing, cycling, e-sports, artistic gymnastics, karate, vovinam, pencak silat, pétanque, sepak takraw, soft tennis, tennis, aquathlon, and the demonstration sport of teqball.

Raven Alcoseba and Heart Quiambao will wear the country’s colors in the women’s aquathlon at the seaside town of Kep, a drive of more than three hours from the Games’ hub here, while Kim Remolino and Josh Ramos are competing in the men’s aquathlon.

The aquathlon sprint is a 500-meter swim and 2.5km run race, duathlon a 5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run event and triathlon covers 750m of swimming, 20km of biking and 5km of running.

Triathletes Kim Mangrobang, 31, and Fernando Casares will defend their crowns on Monday, with triathlon chief Tom Carrasco saying the duo has what it takes to extend the country’s domination of the sport that started in 2015 in Singapore.

“We are hoping to repeat our dominance, but we expect stiffer competition from all,” said Carrasco, adding they are setting their sights on three golds, “four if we are lucky.”

Duathlon races in both divisions will be held Sunday.

Marathoners Christine Hallasgo, Ruffa Sorongon, Richard Salano and Arlan Arbois kick off the country’s campaign in athletics in Sim Reap City.

Boxing, where Pinoy entries are among the favorites, gets going at the Chroy Changvar Convention Hall, with the draw to determine the opening matches set to be held later Friday.

Also to be held at the same venue are opening matches in karate, with Jamie Lim, the daughter of cage great Samboy Lim, determined to improve on her bronze medal finish in Vietnam last year.