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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Former sanda world champ Mandal nets PH’s 1st silver

HANGZHOU, China—Sanda warrior Arnel Mandal threw everything that he could muster at Jiang Haidong, but failed to knock out his Chinese opponent, dropping a 0-2 setback in their championship encounter and settling for the silver medal, the Philippines’ first in the 19th Asian Games here on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Mandal unleashed a barrage of punches, but the Chinese was an elusive target in the 56-kg category finals at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre.

Arnel Mandal (left) connects with a kick to the head of his Chinese foe.

“Ginawa ko lahat ng aking makakaya pero hindi ako pinalad,’’ said Mandal, the 2015 World Sanda Championship men’s 52kg titleholder, who stands to receive P1 million for his accomplishment as indicated in Republic Act No. 10699, also known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.

Mandal’s teammate Gideon Padua concluded his Asian Games’ stint with a bronze in the men’s 60kg after Filipino wushu officials decided not to field him in the semifinals on Wednesday night due to a broken nose bridge following his emphatic quarterfinal win over Turkmenistan’s Agajumageldi Yazymov on Tuesday night.

“Ayaw namin i-risk pa si Gideon. Bronze na ‘yan at mataas ang probability na matamaan ang injury nya sa mga kasunod na laban,’’ said Wushu Federation of the Philippines president Freddie Jalasco.

Also securing a bronze was Clemente Tabugara Jr., who was assured of the medal after downing Kazakhstan’s Abdusamat Ashirov in the men’s 65kg quarterfinals before his run ended against Indonesia’s Samuel Marbun.

The Philippine wushu team finished its campaign with one silver and three bronze medals, including the one secured by taolu specialist Jones Inso in the men’s taijiquan-taijijian all-round on Monday.

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