By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan and duathlete Kim Mangrobang spearheaded the Filipinos’ medal assault Sunday after emerging as the country’s first double gold medalists in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Yulo blew away the competition with a world-class performance by amassing 15.200 points to retain his floor exercise title – his second after topping the individual all-around Friday.
And more is coming as he vies for the pommel horse and still rings at presstime.
He is also set to see action in other apparatus including his pet event vault, where he is the reigning world champion.
Mangrobang, for her part, showed no signs of slowing down after capturing the duathlon title at the Sunset Bay in Tuan Chau – a day after keeping her triathlon crown.
She timed 2 hours, 13 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of silver winner Malaysia’s Tahira Nanmunisaa Muhammad Zaid (2:14:22) and Indonesia’s Zahra Putri Bulan Aprillia (2:14:49).
Mangrobang’s feat ended the country’s triathlon/duathlon campaign with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze.
Not to be left out was wushu star Agatha Wong who defended her taijijian crown to give the PH wushu squad its first gold medal.
Displaying grace and balance using a sword, the 23-year-old wowed the judges to score 9.71 points
She upstaged fancied rivals Thi Minh Huyen Tran and Tran Thi Kieu Trang of Vietnam by the smallest of margins, with Thi managing 9.70 for silver and Trang scoring 9.69 for bronze.
It was a redemption of sort for Wong after settling for silver medal finish in the taolu taijiquan event Saturday.
Finnegan also took the spotlight after capturing the women’s vault with 13.133 points – her second mint after anchoring the Philippine squad to the team event gold Friday.
Vietnam’s Thi Quynh Nhu Nguyen settled for silver with 13.033 while Indonesia’s Rifda Irfanalithfi bagged the bronze with 12.817.
At the My Dinh Water Sports Palace, Jessica Geriane boosted Philippine swimming’s campaign Sunday after breaking the national record in the women’s 50-meter backstroke.
Geriane, clocked 29.38 seconds to lead the finalists in her event, eclipsing the two-year-old mark of 29.53sec by Jasmine Alkhaldi at the 2019 SEAG in Capas, Tarlac.
A freshman in Notre Dame in Illinois, Geriane guns for the gold medal in the finals being competed at presstime.
Also advancing to the finals of the same event was Chloe Isleta, while Desirae Mangaoang also booked a finals ticket in the women’s 200m breaststroke.
The PH swimming team currently has one medal courtesy of a bronze from Miranda Renner in the women’s 100m freestyle Saturday.
Saturday night also saw the women’s artistic gymnastics of Chiara Andrew, Ancilla Lucia Mari Manzano, Lucia Gabriel Gutierrez, Kursten Rogue Lopez, Ma. Cristina Loeranes and Aleah Finnegan snaring the team event gold medal with a score of 184.500, with Finnegan also winning the silver in the individual all-around.
Alex Eala, Marian Capadocia, Jenaila Prulla and Shaira Rivera also settled for the women’s team event bronze in tennis following a semifinal defeat to Thailand.