JESSIE Aligaga and Dembert Arcita provided the country’s first two gold medals in the 27th Southeast Asian Games by topping their respective events in the sanda finals of the wushu competitions Monday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Aligaga beat Indonesian Dasmantua Simbolon in the gold medal match of the 48kg. event, while Arcita defeated Pithak Paokrathok of Thailand in the final of the 52kg. class.
Both Aligaga and Arcita also won golds in their respective events during the 6th Sanda World Cup in China last year.
“Dedicated sa mga kababayan natin. Sila ang inspirasyon,” said Aligaga, who won the bronze medal in the Laos SEA Games four years ago but did not see action in Indonesia in 2011 when his division was scrapped from the calendar of events.
For his past Arcita said, “Gusto ko talagang talunin iyung nakalaban ko kasi siya ang nanalo noon sa Indonesia at ako bronze lang. “Ang sabi ko, hindi na pwedeng makakawala sa akin ang gold ngayon.”
Not as fortunate were lady wushu bets Divine Wally and Evita Zamora, who both settled for the silver medals after losing to a pair of Vietnamese foes.
Wally bowed to Thi Chinh Nguyen in the 48kg, while Zamora saw action in the 52 kg.
In wrestling being held in Yangoon, Margarito Angana failed to defend his 55kg Greco-Roman crown when he lost the gold medal to Doi Dang Tien of Vietnam.