Gonzales and Raguin go for gold medals in table tennis, fencing

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 04, 2015 06:48 PM
Gonzales and Raguin go for gold in table tennis, fencing
The Philippines has an opportunity to win a pair of gold medals as Richard Gonzales and Harlene Raquin reached the finals of their respective events.

SINGAPORE – The unheralded sports of fencing and table tennis assured the country of two more silver medals for the Philippines in the 28th Singapore Southeast Asian Games after veterans Richard Gonzales and Harlene Raquin reached the finals of their respective events on Thursday here.

The evergreen Gonzales, 44, turned back the hands of time in a gripping come-from-behind win over Singapore’s Clarence Chew Zhe Yu in the men’s singles table tennis semifinals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here.

Down 1-3 after four sets and battling a rival 25 years younger than him, Gonzales dug deep into his back of tricks to outlast Yu 11-14, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10, in an epic marathon match lasting one hour and four minutes.

The 44-year-old grizzled campaigner will go up against another Singaporean, Gao Ning, who survived Thailand’s Tanviriyachevchaku, 9-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11, in the other semis, in the finals set at 7:50 p.m.

Whatever the result of the championship match, Gonzales has already matched his best SEA Games performance of a silver in the 2005 Philippine SEA Games.

An hour later at the OCBC Arena, Raguin came through with her own virtuoso performance, humbling Singapore Rahardja Rania, 15-11, in the women’s epee semifinals and can surpass her silver-medal performance in the 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games.

Raguin set up a championship clash with Vietnam’s Tran Thi Len, who vanquished Takhamwon Wijitta, 15-8, in the other semis.

Nathan Perez salvaged the bronze medal in the men’s individual foil after losing a hairline 14-15 decision Vietnam’s Nguyen Min Quang in the semifinals at 7:20 p.m.

Earlier, Emerson Segui, the other entry and the men’s foil and who won gold in the in the Thailand Games, narrowly lost to Satriana, 13-15, in the round-of-16.

The Philippines has thus far collected four medals, counting the silver won by rookie Justine Gail Tinio in the women’s individual foil last Thursday.

The duo of Alyssa Salvador and Jemimah, newcomers to the SEA Games, continued to languish in the depths of the synchronized swimming and placed sixth and last in the free routine finals with 53.0333 points.

Hostilities take a break tomorrow with the opening ceremonies at the Singapore National Stadium before they resume full blast on Sunday.

The Filipino bets are heavily favored in the triathlon event and possibly pick up golds in gymnastics and dragon boat rowing in what promises to be a hectic Sunday schedule for Team Philippines.

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