THE Cebuana athletes put an imprint in the country’s recent stint in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia last Aug. 18 to Sept. 2, delivering two gold medals, one silver and a bronze medal to help the Philippines improve their standing in the quadrennial meet.
Four Cebuana athletes came home with medals. Skateboarder Margielyn Didal and Lois Kaye Go won a gold medal each, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe bagged silver and Rinna Babanto captured a bronze.
Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Chairman Edward Hayco called this feat a “proud moment for Cebuanos.”
“This moment will always be a source of strength and inspiration for Cebuano athletes,” Hayco said.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) official Patrick Gregorio lauded the performance of the Cebuana athletes.
“It’s significant to say that two of the four gold medals for the Philippines have come from Cebuanas. Big congrats to our women,” Gregorio said.
Didal barely broke a sweat as she displayed full dominance to win the gold medal in the Street Skateboarding women’s division, beating Japan’s Kaya Isa and Indonesia’s Bunga Nyimas by a comfortable margin.
Hayco said Didal’s skateboarding has shown a clear path that a potential champion and a gem in the rough could be found in the grassroots level.
The former junior golfer of Cebu Country Club (CCC) Go who now plays at the University of Carolina won her gold medal in the women’s team event with teammates Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan.
The Filipino-Japanese Watanabe, whose mother traces roots in Cebu, bagged a silver medal in the women’s -63kg division judo. The 22-year-old Watanabe made it to the championship round, but came short to top-ranked Nami Nabekura of Japan in the gold medal match.
Babanto earned a bronze medal with teammates Juvenile Faye Crisostomo of Nueva Ecija and Janna Dominique Oliva of Olongapo in the women’s poomsae after falling short to South Korea in the semifinals.
The women lifted the Philippines as two other gold medalists were women in Saso (individual women’s golf) and Hidilyn Diaz (women’s weightlifting).
The country had 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul to finish at 19th place and three notches higher than its 2014 Asian Games output in Incheon, South Korea. RSC