SINGAPORE - Thanks to Marella Salamat, Team Philippines avoided a gold-less on Thursday in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Salamat was the lone bright spot for the Filipino contingent in Day Six of the biennial meet after winning the gold in the women’s individual time trial in cycling.
Her winning time was 44 minutes, 46.38 seconds.
Salamat’s feat came a day after the country bagged its most number of golds with nine which allowed the Filipinos to momentarily seize fifth place before settling at No. 6 following Indonesia’s surge in the medal tally.
As if winning just only a single gold wasn’t bad enough, the day also saw a video of divers John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo go viral in various social networking sites as the Filipino pair failed to score in the 3m springboard competition.
The Philippines stayed in sixth place with a total of 22 golds, 27 silvers, and 41 bronze medals as Indonesia tightened its grip of fifth spot with a 29-33-46 tally as of posting time.
There were disappointments in other fronts, especially in athletics as Filipino entries expected to deliver golds fell short.
None was more heartbreaking than the men’s 4x400m relay team which failed to defend its SEA Games gold by a mere .03 of a second after a late chase by Thailand, relegating the Filipinos to the silver medal.
Also good for just silver medals were Mervin Guarte (1,500m), Jessie Khing Lacuna(400m freestyle), and Joshua Hall (50m).
Jasmin Alkhaldi nailed her fifth and sixth bronze medals in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle, respectively.
Patrick Unso, son of legendary trackster and Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) secretary general Renato Unso, grabbed a bronze in the men’s 110m hurdles, while Riezel Buenaventura also got a bronze in the women’s pole vault.
The women’s trios of Lara Posadas, Marie Alexis Sy, and Maria Arles scored 3,608 pinfalls to give Philippine bowling a bronze.