Jean Claude Saclag delivers 2nd Asian Games silver medal

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The gold medal will have to wait.

The Philippines settled for a second silver medal after Jean Claude Saclag dropped a 2-0 decision to Kong Hongxing of China in the finals of the under-60 kg men’s wushu sanda event of the 17th Asian Games at Ganghwa Dolmens gymnasium here.

Saclag’s silver came a day after Daniel Parantag gave the Philippines its first medal on Tuesday in the taijiquan event, also of men’s wushu, which has been the sole medal producer of the Philippine contingent so far.

Francisco Solis won a bronze also in the sanda event after he defaulted in the semifinal round due to a broken rib.
Saclag and Parantag are expected to receive P500,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission as part of the government’s incentive program while Solis will get P100,000.

“I don’t care if we pay millions as long as the medals come in,” said PSC chair Richie Garcia.

Boxing, another sport expected to reel in medals, got off to a strong start with Mario Fernandez and Charly Suarez turning back their respective foes at Seonhak Gymnasium.

A reigning Southeast Asian Games champion, Fernandez hammered out a unanimous decision victory over Doncha Thathi of Thailand in their bantamweight clash. The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 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.

Later in the evening, Suarez survived a fierce battle against Elnur Abdurimov of Uzbekistan, hammering out a split decision in their lightweight battle to advance.

Suarez took the first two rounds, 29-28 and 30-27, but faded in the third, which all three judges scored in favor of the Uzbek, 30-27.

Cheering Suarez were members of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will battle Iran Thursday at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. in Manila).

As of 8 p.m. here, the Philippines has two silvers and a bronze, all from wushu, and was at 19th place in the medal standings.

China continued to dominate the field with 57 golds, 30 silvers and 27 bronzes. Among Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines was seventh.

Malaysia, riding on golds from squash and wushu, led the SEA nations with a 2-3-3 gold-silver-bronze count. Burma (Myanmar) also had two golds from sepak takraw and not other medal to show.

At Yeorumul tennis courts, Patrick John Tierro opened his campaign in the men’s singles by turning back Macau’s Marco Leung Ho Tin, 6-2, 6-1, while Denise Dy dropped a 6-3, 6-0 loss to Japan’s Misa Eguchi.

The Philippines is not a force in singles competition, but it is going to be a gold contender in men’s doubles, where Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales were seeded second behind Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana.

Bowling continued to flounder with Lara Posadas the best-placed Filipino in the women’s singles. Posadas, after a strong opening game of 237, finished at 33rd with 1,158 pinfalls. Chinese Taipei’s Chou Chia Chen rolled a 1,291 to rule the event.

Liza del Rosario finished with 1,150 pinfalls to finish 35th, Alexis Sy was three places down (1128) while Liza Clutario was 45th (1,102). Bowling is one of the sports counted on to deliver a medal for the Philippines.

At Chungu Tangeum Lake rowing center, 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 country’s national swimmers also failed in their bids to make it to the finals. Jessie Khing Lacuna swam the men’s 100-m butterfly in 55.18 seconds, Joshua Hall timed 1:03.26 in men’s 100m breaststroke while Jasmine Alkhadi finished the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:02.84.

Flag-bearer Geylord Coveta was running sixth in the mistral event of men’s windsurfing while John Harold Madrigal was running seventh in the RS:X event at Wangsam Marina.

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