By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 11:49 PM December 21, 2019
Two Boholano athletes contributed gold medals to the country in the recently concluded South East Asian Games 2019, another three contributed bronze as the nine local athletes earned bragging rights having played in the international field, and received a season’s ‘gift’ from Bohol.
In recognition to the pride, honor and prestige they brought to the country and as motivation to bring more glory to Bohol, the Provincial Government handed to each athlete, regardless of medals, P50,000.00, in rites held at the new Capitol December 19.
Diana Timbal Bühler of Alicia packed home and showed to Bohol media the gold she reaped from months of training culminating in topping one of the newest sports disciplines in the competition: Obstacle Race Course.
Buhler is the only Boholana in the Mixed Team Relay of 400 M x 12 Obstacles played along with Jeffrey Reginio, Klymille Rodriguez and Nathaniel Sanchez and finished the course in 02:00.92 for the gold.
Meanwhile, in athletics, Anfernee Lopena (Tagbilaran City) clinched gold for Team Philippines in Athletics, when he, along with three more compatriots lorded over the Asian athletes in the 4×100 mixed relay. Lopena also claimed a bronze in his participation in the 4X100 Men’s relay.
Lopena, who comes next to Eric Cray of the Philippines best century dashers competed in the quartet event with Kristina Knott, Eloiza Luzon clocked 41.67 seconds in winning the gold in dramatic fashion.
Philippine table tennis sensation Richard Gonzales, who has been among the country’s top seeded pingpong athletes settled for bronze in possibly his last international competition. Gonzales, from Talibon, would be joining the national team’s coaches pool, after the SEA Games.
On the other hand, Boholano duathlete Emmanuel Comendador (San Miguel) who trained for individual duathlon got shifted to the country’s mixed relay duathlon team and pulled the country’s otherwise dismal performance in the discipline to squeeze out a bronze.
The first athlete in Comendador’s team has to do 2.04 kilometers in Run 1 while Comendador and two more members would sprint 1.64km on flat tarmac road before going to the bike segment where all of the team members have to do 6.6km of grinding the cranks on a hilly tarmac road before transitioning to the final Run where members one to three do 0.82kms and a very short distance for Comendador, who plays the anchor in the final leg to fill in a mad sprint on a flat tarmac road what the team has lost in the entire leg.
Comendador recovered 1:30 seconds of time lost in the beginning legs of the race
In weightlifting, Dave Lloyd Pacaldo (Dauis) placed fourth in a competition of 11 nations in the Mens’ 61 kilogram category when he did a total of 250: 110 in the snatch and 140 on the clean and jerk.
Meanwhile, still in weightlifting, Elien Rose Perez (Tagbilaran City) who competed in the women’s 49 kilogram category jerked a kilo less to tie in the bronze with Vietnam when she posted 171 total: with a snatch equal to Vietnam’s Ngo Quyen but a clean and jerk of only 96 as against Vietnam’s 97; a kilo short of the podium honors.
Both took fourth among 11 nations in their respective weight categories.
In athletics specifically in long jump, a boy from Trinidad, Ronnie Malipay placed fifth among 11 nations, while the Philippines’ Mark Diones placed silver.
In women’s football, one among the Malditas which could have ended the medal drought in soccer to settle for fourth is a lady from Guindulman Mea Bernal, who plays a strong defender for the Team Philippines, which almost ended the country’s medal drought in women’s soccer.
In swimming, a tanker from Tagbilaran: junior national swimming record holder for the 50 meter breaststroke Rhian Marco Tirol had an unprecedented rotator cuff injury, two days before his official competition that he missed the chance for medals.
Regardless of medals however, Bohol still handed equally among all athletes the P50K windfall, according to Bohol Administrator Atty Katherin Pioquinto.