32nd SEA Games: PH records best overseas gold harvest in nearly four decades

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Delegations from the Philippines during the official opening of the 32nd SEA Games on May 5. PHOTO: AFP
PHNOM PENH – The 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia formally closed on Wednesday, May 18, with the Philippines bagging its biggest gold medal haul overseas in 36 years.
With 58 gold medals looted, this was the nationals' best performance in a SEA Games held abroad since 1987 when the country took 59 golds in Indonesia.
The 2023 team Philippines also eclipsed their 52-gold collection last year in Hanoi, Vietnam, while clinching 85 silvers and 117 bronzes to finish fifth in the final medal tally.
Vietnam nabbed first place for back-to-back SEA Games titles by snagging 136 golds. Thailand finished bridesmaid again since Hanoi 2021 with 108 golds, while Indonesia took the third spot with 87 golds.
Host Cambodia landed fourth place after leading the race until May 7 with 81 golds.
Arnis and taekwondo led the way for the Philippines with six golds apiece.
Arnisadors Charlotte Tolentino (women's bantamweight full-contact padded stick), Jedah Mae Soriano (women's lightweight full-contact padded stick), Dexter Bolambao (men's bantamweight full-contact live stick), Maria Ella Alcoseba (women's bantamweight full-contact live stick), Crisamuel Delfin (men's individual anyo), and Trixie Marie Lofranco (women's individual anyo) topped their respective events.
Jins Jocel Ninobla, Nicole Labayne, and Aidaine Laxa took the women's team poomsae while Patrick King Perez reigned in the men's individual recognized poomsae for taekwondo's glittering start.
In succession on May 13, Tokyo Olympian Kurt Barbosa (men's 54 kilograms), Arven Alcantara (men's 68 kilograms), Samuel Morrison (men's 87 kilograms), and Rio Olympian Kirstie Elaine Alora (women's 73 kilograms) followed the Perez and the women's poomsae trio's lead.
Next to the list of the top performing national sports associations (NSAs) were athletics, wrestling, boxing, gymnastics, and obstacle course racing after providing four golds each.
Kickboxing snagged three golds like triathlon, jiu-jitsu, and soft tennis.
Swimming, kun bokator, karate, weightlifting, and esports gave the nationals two gold medals.
Gilas Pilipinas prevented a gold-less stint for Philippine basketball teams after capturing the men's tilt as judo, wushu, and tennis had one gold each.
Nabbing two golds and two silvers, world champion gymnast Carlos Edriel "Caloy" Yulo is the Philippines' best-performing athlete.
Women's soft tennis representatives Bien Zoleta and Princess Catindig also grabbed two gold medals each during their Cambodia 2023 stint.
Tanker Jasmine Alkhaldi swam four silvers and three bronzes to become the most bemedaled Filipino athlete in the multi-nation sporting competition held every two years.

Last Modified: 2023-May-18 13.51.15 UTC+0800