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SEA Games: PH delivers 3 golds for kickboxing

By Kristel Satumbaga

Gina Iniong and Jean Claude Saclag overpowered their rivals on Tuesday as the Philippine kickboxing team finished its 30th Southeast Asian Games campaign with three gold medals at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Philippines' Gina Iniong (in blue) anad Thailand's Apichaya Mingkhwan battle it out during the women's kickboxing -55kg kicklight event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at Cuneta Astrodome, Dec. 10, 2019. Iniong bags the gold medal. (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

Philippines’ Gina Iniong (in blue) anad Thailand’s Apichaya Mingkhwan battle it out during the women’s kickboxing -55kg kicklight event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at Cuneta Astrodome, Dec. 10, 2019. Iniong bags the gold medal. (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

Iniong, a wushu and mixed martial arts champion, added another title in her growing resume by ruling the women’s -55kg kick light division at the expense of Thailand’s Apichaya Mingkwan, 3-0.

The 29-year-old Benguet native banked on her boxing skills to attack her opponent from the start and never wavered.

“Game plan po talaga namin is sugurin siya kasi taekwondo (specialist) siya eh. Inabangan ko lang na makapasok ako,” said Iniong.

Saclag took the podium a few hours later, pouncing on Malaysia’s Mohammed Mahmoud in the men’s 63.5kg full contact to prevail, 3-0.

Saclag, a wushu silver medalist at the 2014 Asian Games, was aggressive throughout and leaned on his speed to outlast his rival.

“Di ko in-expect na madali para sa akin kasi alam kong hindi siya basta-basta nasasaktan. Pero nakita ko na madali na siyang mapagod kaya inunahan ko na,” the 25-year-old Kalinga native said.

Jerry Olsim won the country’s first SEAG gold in the sport on Tuesday in the men’s -69kg kick light division.

The PH team also claimed two silvers courtesy of Jomar Balangui and Renalyn Dacquel, and one bronze from Karl Manguide.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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