Hanoi—World champion Carlos Yulo put a stop to the Philippines’ horror show on Friday the 13th with a gold in the men’s individual all-around event of the gymnastics’ competition in the 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games here.
Yulo, the reigning world gymnastics’ vault champion, bucked a slip and a penalty in the pommel horse to garner 85.150 points in six apparatuses as he bagged the individual all-around crown, frustrating hometown bets Le Thanh Tung (84.050) and Dinh Phuong Thanh (82.450), who settled for the silver and bronze, respectively.
The 22-year-old Olympian gave the Philippines’ its third gold here after the victory of Mary Francine Padios in pencak silat last Wednesday and the win of Jackielou Escarpe in kurash’s men’s 73 kgs after beating Thailand’s Apicha Boonrangsee on Friday at the Hoai Duc Stadium in Vietnam.
Yulo also led the artistic gymnastics’ team that included Juancho Miguel Besana, John Matthew Vergara, Jann Gwynn Timbang, and Justine Ace de Leon to the silver.
Aside from the three gold medals, the Philippines also amassed seven silver and nine bronze medals to rank fifth, giving up fourth to Thailand (3-5-11).
Vietnam started to pull away from the field with 20 gold, 11 silver, and 15 bronze medals, followed by Malaysia (11-5-8) and Indonesia (5-8-1).
Singapore and Myanmar also have two gold medals each.
Still to be concluded at press time is kickboxing, where six Filipinos are assured of at least silver medals.
“All I was thinking was how to perform well and I think we did well,” said Yulo, who advanced to the finals of the vault, where he is the reigning world champion, high bar, parallel bar, pommel horse, rings, and floor exercise on Sunday and Monday.
“It’s not a bad first day at all,” said Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion-Norton, who expects Yulo to win at least four gold medals.
“We are expecting more, so much more,” added Carrion, who kept an eagle eye on the manual scoring of the judges in lieu of computerized scoring.
But it was a dreadful sight on other fronts.
Over at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium, Filipino 3×3 bets suffered shocking defeats and needed to do better Saturday to sustain their hopes of retaining the men’s and women’s crowns in the event initially held in 2019 in the Philippines SEA Games.
The Gilas men’s squad beat of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Marvin Hayes, Jorey Napoles, and Raymar Caduyac beat Cambodia 19-7 and Thailand 21-16 but sputtered against Indonesia and dropped a 13-15 decision.
The Gilas women’s squad found a roadblock in its title-retention bid, the Vietnamese team powered by the Truong sisters who played NCAA Division I ball at Gonzaga University.
With Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong draining crucial two-pointers, the host team battled back from a 6-10 deficit and pulled the rug from under the Filipinas, scoring a stunning 21-18 win to the delight of the full house crowd.
The foursome of Janine Pontejos, Afril Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Angelica Surada, who started the day with a convincing 21-5 win over Cambodia, also lost to Thailand 14-21.
The gold medal continued to elude Pinoy rowers, with teams in the men’s lightweight coxless and the men’s and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls events settling for bronze medals.
Competing at the Thuy Nguyen Hai Phong Aquatics Center, the quartet of Edgar Ilas, Roque Abala Jr., Zuriel Sumintac, and Joachim De Jesus clocked seven minutes and 0.117 seconds to finish third behind gold medal winner Indonesia and Vietnam.
The team of Joanie Delgaco, Kharl Julianne Sha, Feiza Jane Lenton, and Alyssa Hannah Go clocked seven minutes and 30.148 seconds in the women’s lightweight quadruple sculls that Vietnam topped in seven minutes and 11.326 seconds. Indonesia won the silver in seven minutes and 18.338 seconds.
Athens Tolentino, Van Maxilom, CJ Jasmin, and Emmanuel Obaña also finished third in the men’s lightweight quadruple sculls event with a clocking of six minutes and 46.841 seconds, way behind runner-up Vietnam that clocked six minutes and 34.444 seconds.