Wally saves a bronze on slow day

JAKARTA — A former world champion may have failed to snatch the crown but her heroics were enough to help the country avert a complete Philippine shutout on the fourth day of the 18th Asian Games.

Divine Wally bowed to a taller, more aggressive foe in Elaleh Mansoryan Samiroumi of Iran, 1-2, in the semifinals of women’s -52kg sanda event of the wushu competition Wednesday at the Jakarta International Expo Hall here.

The 23-year-old Wally, who bagged the world crown in this bustling Indonesian capital in 2015, failed to sustain her strong start as the Iranian, the silver medalist in the Incheon Asiad in 2014, waxed hot in the third round en route to the victory.

It was such as sorry defeat for the University of Cordillera standout, who came here eager to win the gold.

Still, Wally’s bronze medal feat is a welcome development for the Philippine Team that scampered for achievement outside the gold-medal performance of Hidilyn Diaz in weightlifting late Tuesday.

Filipino athletes remain at the 16th place in the medal tally with one gold and five bronze medals while powerhouse China is slowly pulling away with 35 gold, 27 silver and 14 bronze medals – most of them from swimming.

Jean Claude Saclag failed to reach the medal round of the men’s -60kg event of the sanda competition of wushu.

The 24-year old fighter from Cordillera yielded a 0-2 decision to Surya Singh.
Also falling by the wayside was Incheon Asian Games silver medalist Daniel Parantac, who failed to make the podium in the men’s taijian event.

Parantac, also the Southeast Asian Games champion, finished 9th out of 17 participants as he garnered 9.67 points, which was way behind the 9.76 points of gold medalist Zhouli Chen of China.

Araya Tomohiro of Japan settled for the silver medal while Nyein Ko of Myanmar pocketed the bronze.

Another Filipino bet in newcomer Jones Inso Labares wound up at the cellar with only 8.62 points.

Preggie archer

Meanwhile, Amaya Paz-Cojuangco opened the campaign by Philippine archers on a high note despite playing pregnant also Wednesday at the GBK archery field.

Paz-Cojuangco shot 698 points in the 72-arrow women’s compound mixed team qualifier to finish seventh among 52 competitors.

The four-time Southeast Asian Games champion stands eight points behind top ranked Yihsuan Chen of Chinese Taipei and just three points behind the heavily-favored South Koreans in Choi Bumin, Sung Yun Soo and Kim Yunhee.

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