Athletics pumps life into SEA Games campaign, lifts PH to sixth place on 12 gold medals
Fil-Am Eric Cray won one of three gold medals for athletics for ther day. AP

SINGAPORE — Fil-Americans Eric Cray, Kayla Richardson, and Caleb Stuart provided the gold medals for the Philippines in athletics on Tuesday to help the country climb to sixth spot in the medal tally of the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

In total, the Philippines won five gold medals on Tuesday with Chezka Centeno of billiards and Reyland Capellan of gymnastics also ruling their respective events, raising the contingent's spirits after a bleak campaign that saw the delegation collect a single gold on Monday.

The gold medal haul allowed the Philippines to climb to sixth place with 12 gold, 17 silver, and 28 bronze medals, leapfrogging Myanmar which has a 10-16-18 haul as of posting time.

The Philippines, however, is still several gold medals behind Indonesia, which has a 17-20-37 total as of posting time.

Philippine athletics got off to a good start on Tuesday morning when Stuart notched a new SEA Games record in the hammer throw with his 65.63m effort. Day Four ended with Cray and Richardson completing what was believed to be the first sprint double for Filipinos in the biennial showcase.

Cray, who qualified for the 2016 Olympics in the 400m hurdles, clocked 10.25 seconds to become the first male Filipino to win the 100m dash. Richardson, on the other hand, beat a Thai in a photo finish with a time of 11.76 seconds.

On the other hand, Centeno, 15, won the women’s 9-ball gold after beating Rubilen Amit in an all-Pinay showdown, 7-5, even as Capellan topped the men’s floor exercise in gymnastics.

Other Filipino medalists include Youth Olympic Games campaigner Ava Verdeflor, who took the silver medal in the women’s uneven bars.

Sailing (male fleet racing keelboat) got a silver medal in the male fleet racing keelboat while the women’s tennis team of Katharina Lehnert, Denise Dy, Kim Iglupas, and Anna Clarice Patrimonio fell to Thailand, 2-1, in the finals to settle for second place.

Ernest John 'EJ' Obiena won a silver in the pole vault in athletics.

Jasmine Alkhaldi got her third bronze medal in the 200m freestyle and Roxanne Yu followed suit with her second bronze by finishing third in the 100m backstroke.

Carlo Biado, winner of the men’s 9-ball doubles gold, got a bronze in the singles event along with the men’s snooker doubles team of Alvin Barbero and Michael Mengorio.

Hermie Macaranas snatched his fourth bronze medal in the SEA Games by placing third in the men’s C1-200m and men’s C2-200m (with Ojay Fuentes).


However, Wednesday brings the promise of more gold medals for Team Philippines with eight boxers seeing action in the finals and the men’s and women’s softball teams also battling for gold medals.

The celebrated Philippine men's basketball and women's volleyball teams also start their campaign in the SEA Games on Wednesday at the OCBC Arena.

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