Philippines athletes rise above adversity and bias in 27th SEA Games -Myanmar

Boxer Nesthy Petecio won only a silver medal in the just-ended 27th Southeast Asian Games. A victim of a hometown decision, Petecio defiantly showed off her biceps in front of the celebrating Myanmar opponent  

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar — Boxer Nesthy Petecio won only a silver medal in the just-ended 27th Southeast Asian Games, but left a lasting imprint that best exemplifies the indomitable Filipino spirit.

A victim of a hometown decision, Petecio defiantly showed off her biceps in front of the celebrating Myanmar opponent and a raucous, partisan crowd during the boxing finals.

It was the image that will be best remembered long after the last athlete had left the capital city of Myanmar.

The Philippines ended the Games with 29 golds, 34 silvers and 38 bronzes for seventh place, its worst finish since making its debut in 1977.

The 208-man delegation, however, just took part in 167 of 460 events, winning 101 medals.

Thailand retained the overall title with 107 golds, 94 silvers and 81 bronzes.

Host Myanmar placed second with an 84-62-85 tally followed by Vietnam 73-85-86, Indonesia 65-84-109, Malaysia 43-38-77 and Singapore 34-29-45.

The country's last medal was earned by the sepak takraw troika of Jason Huerte, Rheyjey Ortouste and Emmanuel Escote who bowed to Laos in the semifinals of the men's double regu event Sunday.

After coming home with only two golds in Palembang, Indonesia two years ago, the athletics team redeemed itself with six golds, four silvers and three bronzes to emerge as the country's top performer.

Of the six winners, three are rookies, namely: 400-meter hurdles champion Eric Shawn Cray, steeplechaser Christopher Ulboc and decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid. The other gold winners are long jumper Henry Dagmil, 400-meter runner Archand Christian Bagsit and the 4 x 400-meter relay squad composed of Isidro del Prado Jr., Julius Nierras, Edgardo Alejan Jr. and Bagsit.

Taekwondo, a traditional source of medals, bagged four golds, four silvers and seven bronzes.

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Rookies Jade Zafra and Kristopher Robert Uy, Kirstie Elaine Alora and the men's poomsae squad of Vidal Marvin Gabriel, Dustin Jacob Mella and Raphael Enrio Mella accounted for the golds.

Boxing, hurt by questionable decisions, came through with three golds courtesy of Josie Gabuco, Mark Anthony Barriga and Mario Fernandez aside from four silvers and three bronzes.

Wushu was also impressive with three golds through Daniel Parantac, Jessie Aligaga and Dembert Arcita. It also accounted for three silvers and two bronzes.

Billiards, cycling, golf and judo each won two golds while karate, basketball, rowing, archery and muay contributed one gold each.

Golfer Princess Superal and runner Bagsit are the only athletes to win two gold medals.

The youngest gold medallist is 15-year-old Mia Legaspi, a member of the women's golf team.

Of the 26 sports it participated, the Philippines did not win medals in badminton, equestrian and women's football.  - Rey Bancod / Tempo

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