By Rey Bancod
Kuala Lumpur – The Philippines won its first gold medal in pencak silat in 12 years, but suffered twin losses in taekwondo Tuesday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Dines Dumaan, who just joined the national team over a year ago, the 22-year-old bronze medalist in the Asian Beach Games last year, overwhelmed Indonesia’s Firman with three takedowns to win the men’s tanding 45-50kg. category.
A tanding match is divided into three rounds of two minutes each with one-minute rest in between rounds.
A takedown is worth three points, according to team manager Inies Candor who broke the news.
Dumaan, a farmer’s son, was only 10 years old when Earl Buenviaje won the gold in the 2005 Games in Manila.
A 22-year-old native of Panot-an, Capiz, Dumaan won the bronze in the Asian Beach Games last year.
“Sulit ang paghinto ko sa pag-aaral para mag-concentrate sa training,” said Dumaan, a third year marine transportation student at Colegio dela Purisima Concepcion in Roxas City.
Sulit admitted he got groggy after being hit on the right side of his chest.
“Nahilo ako. Akala ko talo na ako,” said Dumaan who was meted deductions for violations, but still emerged a 4-1 winner.
With two more artists in action late in the day, the team also collected four bronzes courtesy of Princesslyn Enopia in the women’s tanding Class A 45-50 kg., Rickrod Ortega in the men’s Class C 55-60 kg. and Jefferson Rhey Loon in the men’s Class I 60-65 kg.
The 1-gold, 4-bronze collection is a marked improvement from the three bronzes won by the Filipinos two years ago in Singapore.
With one day left in the calendar, the Philippines has 24 golds, 31 silvers, and 61 bronzes.
The lone silver for the day came from taekwondo where Kirstie Elaine Alora lost to a tall, fellow Olympian Sonesavanh of Cambodia, 13-6, in the women’s under 73 kg.
Giving up almost four inches in height, Alora got caught trying to initiate action and had no answer to her foe’s overwhelming reach advantage.
Francis Agojo, on the other hand, was eliminated by Nguyen Van Duy of Vietnam, 17-13, in the semifinals. He earlier ousted Va Mithona of Cambodia in the quarterfinals.
Aside from the two pencak silat events, the Philippines was still fighting for the gold medal in sepak takraw, squash, and speedskating.
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