GUANGZHOU â€“ The national chess players provided the last medal of the Philippine contingent â€“ a silver â€“ following a .5-3.5 loss to world No. 3 China but the medal was not enough to keep the Philippines at 17th place at the close of the XVI Asian Games.
GM Wesley So drew with GM Wang Yue on the top board to provide the half-point for Team Phl as GM John Paul Gomez took the board 2 assignment and bowed to Wang Hao and GMs Darwin Laylo and Eugene Torre lost to Zhou Jianchao and Ni Hua, respectively.
China’s gold medal win in the team event was its 182nd, one short of the 183 mustered by the Chinese contingent when Beijing hosted the quadrennial event 20 years ago.
It was also not enough to improve the standing of the Philippines which instead dropped from 17th to 19th among 45 countries after 13 days of competition in 28 of 42 sports disciplines.
The Philippines had a concluding gold-silver-bronze medal tally of 3-4-9 behind China’s 182-106-92.
Southeast Asian Games powerhouse Thailand was ninth with 11-9-12, Malaysia a notch behind with 9-18-14, Indonesia 15th with 4-9-13 and Singapore right behind with 4-7-6.
The three-gold medal tally of the Philippines also fell short of the four-gold effort of the Doha 2006 contingent, indicating that the Philippines will have to rationalize its sports program to catch up with its Southeast Asian neighbors.
The Chinese chess team showed its superiority both in the men’s and women’s categories where it won three of four.
It took the women’s team gold behind the victories of Chinese Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue, who also took the gold and silver in individual play.
Uzbekistan’s gold medal win in the individual event prevented a Chinese sweep.
The Filipinos readily admitted they had little chance of winning against the Chinese powerhouse which topped the seven-round Swiss system elimination to advance to the semifinal where it beat Iran to move to the final against the Philippines.
â€œWe won because of hard work in our daily training and a stable performance,â€ said Wang.
Elsewhere, there was little news of Philippine participation.
Qatar crushed the Philippines, 81-71, in basketball, dealing the Filipinos their worth finish at sixth in 44 years.
China took the basketball gold with a 77-71 victory over South Korea.
Maria Victoria Recinto finished 17th among 18 participants in the individual all-around in gymnastics with a score of 77.150. Kazakhstan’s Anna Alybyeva won the gold with a score of 11.450.
In doubles preliminary group A match in sepak takraw, the Philippines bowed out with a 0-2 loss to Myanmar.
Sheila Mae Perez capped the Filipinos’ stint in diving finishing a good fifth withÂ 283.25 points behind gold medal winner He Zi (382.00).
In the women’s javelin, Yuki Ebihara of Japan took the gold with a throw over 61.56 meters. Rosie Villarito was ninth among 10 entries with a 48.87m throw. – By Gerry Carpio (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)