2023 Asian Games Update: Eala, 2 more Pinoys assured of medals; Didal, others falter

MANILA, Philippines – A few days after the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games opening, the Philippines' medal run stalled at 2 bronze and sits uncomfortably at the 27th place overall on the medal tally board.

Despite the misfortune, Philippines’ hopes of adding more medals are still alive as few Filipino athletes are on the verge of reaching podium finishes in the days to come.

Arnel Mandal is assured of a silver medal after dismantling his Kyrgyzstan opponent, Avazbek Amanbekov in the Wushu Men’s Sanda 56kg Finals.

Likewise, Wushu Sanda 60kg fighter, Gideon Padua is expected to earn a bronze at least after passing the quarterfinals test. Padua and Philippine Wushu Federation, however, plan to forfeit his semifinals match due to an apparent injury.

Tennis sensation and Raphael Nadal mentee, Alex Eala is also assured of a bronze medal after a hard-fought and come-from-behind win over Japanese Kyoka Okamura during the quarterfinals of women’s singles.

Tennis Sensation Alex Eala is now assured of a bronze medal
Tennis Sensation Alex Eala is now assured of a bronze medal after surviving Japanese foe in the quarterfinals. Photo Credit: Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)

The nation also banks on Team Sibol’s Dream Three Kingdoms 2 (DTK2) as the mobile gaming geeks advanced to the Asian Games eSports playoffs.

Tough and sorry losses, however, for other noteworthy national players who have ended their Asian Games journeys today.

Margielyn Didal failed to defend her crown as she ranked last in the women’s skateboarding finals. Having the same fate, Mark Feliciano and Mazel Alegado bowed out in their respective categories.

Taekwondo jins Arven Alcantara, Dave Cea, and Laila Delo crashed in their own kyorugi (sparring) matches while Kristie Alora and Samuel Morrisson stayed alive and still on the hunt for the country’s potential medals.

Filipino woodpushers Janelle Frayna, Marie San Diego, and Paulo Bersamina also missed their podium finish chances after getting checked mate in their individual chess finals events.

Pugilists Mark Ashley Fajardo’s medal hunt has come to an end in the men’s boxing 63kg division after absorbing a sorry loss from home crowd favorite, Wang Xianying while Tokyo Olympians Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam still box their way up and are optimistic to bring home the bacon.

On a brighter note, the Philippines’ Men’s 5x5 - Gilas Pilipinas, Men’s 3x3, and Women’s 5x5 - Perlas Pilipinas are all on the roll and more likely to contribute medals for the Philippines in the days to come.

The Filipinas also have their shot to the second round should they manage to escape the gritty Myanmar on Thursday. Though the following rounds are significantly steeper as Asian football powerhouse teams await.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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