INCHEON, Korea—The gold medal continued to elude Team Philippines on Day 5 of the 17th Asian Games on Wednesday as Jean Claude Saclag settled for a silver medal in wushu, the only productive sport so far for the Filipinos.
Saclag bowed to China’s Hongxing Kong, 2-0, in the men’s Sanda -60kg to produce the Philippines’ second silver medal as the country groped for any hope that would come from other possible sources as the Asiad near its middle mark.
Saclag’s silver came after Daniel Parantag gave the Philippines its first medal on Tuesday in the taijiquan which he lost to another Chinese entry, Chen Zhouli.
Their silver medals are worth P500,000 each in incentives, according to Philippine Sports Commmission (PSC) Chairman Ricardo ‘Ritchie’ Garcia, who is also the Chief of Mission for the Philippines here.
Wushu third gold medal came from Francisco Solis, who still played the quarterfinals with a broken rib but beat a Hong Kong opponent just to make sure he’ll come home with a bronze medal in the -56kg men’s Sanda, a combat event. Solis did not face China’s Fuxiang Zhao in the semifinals upon the medical team’s advice.
The Philippines, however, will have to start looking for victories elsewhere as wushu had played its last event Wednesday.
But the results which trickled in at the Philippine Headquarters were not impressive.
Marie Alexis Sy was 20th and Anne Marie Diane Kiac was 29th in a field of 38 bowlers in Squad A of the women’s singles.
Benjamin Tolentino placed seventh and out of the lightweight men’s single sculls Final B of rowing.
The lightweight men’s double sculls tandem of Edgar Ilas and Nestor Cordova placed sixth.
The swimmers continued to sink as Jessie King Lacuna (men’s 100m butterfly), Joshua Hall (men’s 100m breaststroke) and Jasmine Alkhadi (women’s 200m freestyle) each placed fourth in their respective heats and out of their events.
Patrick John Tierro defeated Marco Ho Tin Leung of Macau, 6-2, 6-1, in the men’s singles of tennis. But Denise Dy bowed to Japan’s Misa Eguchi, 3-6, 0-6.
Reigning Southeast Asian Games champion Mario Fernandez reasserted his supremacy over Doncha Thathi of Thailand, 3-0, in their bantamweight clash in boxing.
Fernandez, who also beat Thathi for the SEA Games gold medal last year in Myanmar, seemed tentative at first but started connecting with solid three-punch combinations in the second and third rounds to easily earn the nod of the three judges, who scored it 29-28, 29-8, 30-27.
“He (Fernandez) was not as aggressive as when he beat Thathi (2-1) in Myanmar but he kept up the pressure from the start,” said boxing coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco.
The victory sent Fernandez to the round-of-16 against either Puran Rai of Nepal or Yahya Sharahili of Saudi Arabia who were set to clash later in the day.
Velasco said neither of the two would pose a problem for Fernandez. “Kaya n’ya ang mga ‘yan,” he said.
London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga makes his Asian Games debut on Thursday against Hussin Al-Marin of Syria in the light flyweight class while flyweight Ian Clark Bautista battles Maher Mohammad Shamon of Jordan, who has trained in Cuba.
Light welterweight Dennis Galvan also fights on Thursday, taking on Battarsukh Chinzorig of Kazakhstan. Chinzorig beat Galvan in the President’s Cup in Almaty last July.
Also climbing the ring on Thursday is middleweight Wilfredo Lopez. He will take on Turkmenistan’s Azizbek Achilov.
Female boxers Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio climb the ring on Saturday against Lin Yu Ting of Chinese-Taipei and Gulzhaina Ubbinizayova of Kazakhstan, respectively.
Gilas Pilipinas will face Iran today, seeking a win that would somehow soothe the pain of their loss to the same team that denied them of the Fiba Asia Championship last year in Manila.
Gilas won their initial outing over India on Tuesday.
Sailors Geylord Coveta and John Harold Madrigal also continue with their races at the Wangsan Sailing Marina.
Lacuna goes back for Heat 4 of the men’s 100m freestyle in swimming.
Ruperto Zaragosa, Kristoffer Arevalo, Justin Quiban and Raymart Tolentino play in the men’s individual round 1 and team competition of golf, as well as Mia Superal, Clare Amelia Legaspi and Pauline del Rosario on the distaff side.
The bowlers, triathletes and rowers see action, too.