ASIAN GAMES: Wushu's Divine Wally earns Philippines' fifth bronze

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 22, 2018 09:19 PM
Wushu's Divine Wally earns Philippines' fifth bronze
The veteran internationalist Wally lost to a taller and more aggressive Samiroumi Elaheh Mansoryan of Iran, 1-2, in their quarterfinal match to settle for the bronze at the Jakarta International Expo.

JAKARTA — Divine Wally salvaged a bronze from wushu’s women’s -52 kgs of sanda late Wednesday night to prevent what could have been a first medal-less day for the Philippines in the 18th Asian Games.

A day after the entire country celebrated Hidilyn Diaz’s success in weightlifting, no other Filipino athlete from the 272-member delegation came so close to winning another gold medal with China bagged its 35th gold medal to widen its gap over second running Japan with 18 golds and Japan with 10.

The one-gold and five-bronze haul put the Philippines at No. 16 on the medal tally board—behind Southeast Asian rivals No. 4 Indonesia (six golds) and No. 8 Thailand (four golds) and ahead of No. 17 Singapore (one gold and two silvers), No. 20 Vietnam (three silvers and six bronzes) and No. 23 Myanmar (two bronzes).

The veteran internationalist Wally lost to a taller and more aggressive Samiroumi Elaheh Mansoryan of Iran, 1-2, in their quarterfinal match to settle for the bronze at the Jakarta International Expo.

The five-foot flat Wally tried her best to connect with her strikes, but the 5-foot-6 two-time world champion Mansoryan evaded them, while connecting on her attacks to advance to the championship round on Thursday and possibly finally win the gold that eluded her in Incheon 2014, where she was a silver medalist.

Mansoryan, the world champion in Kuala Lumpur (2013) and Kazan, Russia (2017), will dispute the gold with China’s Li Yueyao at 10 a.m.

Also the Asian champion in 2016 in the 56kg class, Mansoryan was simply too much against Wally as she aggressively dominated the Filipina in the final two rounds after trailing the first, 0-1.

The 24-year-old Wally, though, improved on her fifth-place finish in the Asian Games as she contributed to the Philippines’ medal haul with its fifth bronze and the second from wushu, counting Agatha Wong’s own medal in the women’s taolu.

Wally, the 2016 48 kgs champion of the Asian Championships in Taoyuan, was assured of the bronze after beating Petriwi Selviah of Indonesia, 2-0. She earlier subdued Mimi Yoysaykham of Laos, 2-0.

She took up the sport in 2013 at age 18.

The Blu Girls, meanwhile, blanked Indonesia, 4-0, also on Wednesday to boost their chances for a podium finish in women’s softball at the Gelura Bung Karno diamond.

Mary Ann Antolihao started for the Blu Girls, allowing only four hits and striking out Indonesians before turning over the pitching job to Royevel Palma who struck out four, as the Philippines took its fourth win in five outings.

Indonesia virtually bowed out with no win to show after give games.

The PH lady batters were coming off a disappointing 1-11 loss to the Japanese late Tuesday. The defending champions bombarded Pinay pitchers Mia Macapagal and Antolihao with 11 hits, nine of them coming at the top of the 4th inning for the abbreviated win.

The Philippines has yet to beat the Japanese in their international matches.

With the lone setback, the Blu Girls tied previous victim China at second place.

The Blu Girls were to take on Chinese-Taipei at 9 p.m. (Philippine time), aiming for a victory that would assure them of a bronze medal in this seven-nation tournament.

A win over the Taiwanese would put the Filipinas at no. 2 position after the round-robin elimination and assured them of a bronze medal via the page-system semifinal.

The top four teams will advance to a page system semifinal to determine the protagonists for the gold medal.

Japan, which blanked Korea earlier in the day is poised to top the chart with clean 5-0 card.

In Palembang, top Philippine troika of Liza del Rosario, Lara Posadas and Alexis Sy were derailed by the morning lane conditions and could  muster only seventh place at the start of the bowling championships at the ultra-modern Jakabaring Sports City Bowling Center.

Unable to find their lines and adjust in time with the use of the long-oil pattern in the first three games, the Filipina keglers pooled 4026, 300 pinfalls behind the sizzling Malaysian trio of Hamidi Afifah Badrul, Rahman Siti Abdul and Mei Lan Chea, who took the gold with combined tally of 4255.

Chinese-Taipeh (4255) settled for silver while Singapore got bronze (4250) in a day of soaring scores with the new scoring system in play, exemplified by Malaysian Badrul’s eye-popping six-game average of 242.83, and with teammates Abdul (238.33) and Cheah just as hot (239.83).

The other triumvirate of Maria Lourdes Arles, Rachelle Leon and Dyan Coronacion placed 10th with a combined output of 3923.

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