By NICK GIONGCO
JAKARTA – The Philippines, whose bid to improve on its previous finish in the Asian Games is beginning to fade with losses coming in terrifying regularity, took a breather from the string of misfortunes Sunday with pencak silat delivering two bronze medals.
Overshadowed by the marquee sports throughout the week, Dines Dumaan was forced to accept a bronze after tasting a 5-0 defeat at the hands of M Nasir Muhammad Faizul of Malaysia in their Men’s Class B 50-55 kg match.
Jefferson Looy also got the same medal color after a similar 5-0 loss
to Nguyen Ngoc Toan of Vietnam in the Men’s Class B 60-65 kg.
The sudden production from pencak silat, an ancient Indonesian martial arts, raised the Philippines’ medal tally to 1-0-9 for 24th place, way behind of top Southeast Asian rivals like host Indonesia (fifth, 10-12-18), Thailand (seventh, 8-8-25), Singapore (16th, 2-2-7), Cambodia (17th, 2-0-1), Vietnam (18th, 1-7-10) and Malaysia (19th, 1-4-2).
Earlier, marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, the pride and joy of Southeast Asia, managed to land 11th out of 19 entries with a clocking of 2 hours 51 minutes and 41 seconds., way below her personal best of 2:48.26.
The Cebu-bred Tabal, 29, complained of the humidity in the event topped by Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo (2:34.51). The silver went to Japanese Keiko Nogami (2:36.27) and the bronze to North Korea’s Kim Hye Song (2:37.20).
The lone gold medal won by the country came from Hidilyn Diaz in the weightlifting just days into the 15-day quadrennial sports spectacle.
The other bronzes were provided by taekwondo (three), wushu (two), BMX cycling (one) and jiu-jitsu (one).
In Incheon four years ago, the Philippines took just one gold medal, three silvers and 11 bronze medals.
At press time, golf was still in contention for a medal, while boxing still has several fighters in the running.