Filipino jin Kurt Barbosa successfully defended his Southeast Asian Games title in men’s -54kg kyorugi and won the first gold medal for the national taekwondo team in the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Tokyo Olympian reigned supreme in the division and handily defeated his opponents en route to the final.
Barbosa, who was king of the finweight division in the regional biennial meet more than two years ago, showed poise with his swift kicks to take down Thai foe Panachai Jaijulla, 16-7 in the battle for gold.
Barbosa thwarted home bet Ngoc Lam Duong of Vietnam in the quarterfinal, 31-10, and figured in a rematch against former silver medalist and Indonesian rival Reinaldy Atmanegara in the semifinal.
The 22-year-old Abra native jin edged Atmanegara with a razon-thin advantage of two points only, 44-42, en route to the gold medal match.
Meanwhile, Laila Delo settled for bronze in the women’s -67kg category after suffering a 21-12 beating at the hands of Silvana Lamanda of Indonesia.
In muay action, the duo of Islay Erika Bomogao and Rhichein Yosorez bested two other pairs to notch the gold in an all-female waikru mai muay event.
Bomogao and Yosorez pulled away with a score of 8.68 in their masterful routine and bested home bet tandem Thi Diem Trang Pham and Thi Bich Lieu Pham of Vietnam (8.56) and Thai pair Mawadee Heetnoo and Thanawan Thongduan (8.35).
The win marks the first gold for the muay thai team as combat action begins Wednesday, May 18.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph