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Obiena, Knott deliver golds in record fashion

MANILA -- Olympic-bound Ernest John Obiena and Fil-American Kristina Marie Knott won the gold in the men’s pole vault and women’s 200-meter run of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Saturday night before a delighted home crowd at the New Clark City Stadium in Capas, Tarlac.

Obiena, son of former national pole vault campaigner Emerson, was just too dominant in topping his pet event, clearing the bar at 5.45 meters for his first gold in the biennial meet.

Knott was also just as impressive, running her way to the gold with a new SEA Games record of 23.01 seconds. During the morning qualifying heats, she clocked 23.07 to erase the old SEA Games mark (23.30) set by Supavadee Khawpeag of Thailand in 2001 Kuala Lumpur meet.

Along with the gold won by marathoner Christine Hallasgo last Friday, Filipino tracksters have now accounted for a total of three golds with action on the track just on its second day.

Chinh Le Tu of Vietnam finished second behind Knott with a time of 23.45 seconds for the silver, while claiming the bronze was Veronica Shanti Pereira of Singapore (23.77).

Winning the silver behind Obiena was Porranot Purahong of Thailand (5.20) and Iskandar Alwi of Malaysia (5.00).

The golden feat of Knott, who also broke the national record of 22.32 set by Zion Corrales Nelson in the US NCAA earlier this year, and Obiena capped a rousing 17-gold haul of the Philippines on Saturday.

Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal captured her second gold medal in the women’s street event of the skateboarding competitions while the day’s other gold winners were Noelle Conchita Corazon (soft tennis); pair Lester Troy Tayong and Emerson Villana (sailing); Chezka Centeno (billards); Jeordan Dominguez, Jocylin Ninobla and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. (taekwondo); team epee (fencing); poomsea team (taekwondo); Junna Tsukii (karetedo); Francis Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon (tennis); Hermie Macaranas (canoe); and, Joanie Delgado and Melcah Jen Caballero (double sculls-rowing); Daniela Regie dela Pisa (gymnastics); and Cris Nievares (rowing-single sculls).

With four days of competitions left, Team Philippines appeared on its way to regaining the meet’s overall title with 88 golds on top of 66 silvers and 62 bronzes as of Sunday morning.

The country last won the overall championship in 2005, garnering 115 golds, 85 silvers and 93 bronze medals.

Indonesia was a far second with 47 golds, 49 silvers, and 63 bronzes, followed by Vietnam with 47-47-58 medal tally. (PNA)

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