MANILA, Philippines – Gold, finally.
The Philippines captured its first fencing gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games as Jylyn Nicanor reigned supreme in the women's individual sabre at the World Trade Center on Thursday, December 5.
Nicanor trailed in multiple occasions – the Philippines' chances of ending a gold-medal drought looking bleak at times – but she rallied back and hacked out a 15-14 escape over Indonesia's Diah Permatasari.
The winning point came with suspense when the judge kept the raucous Filipino crowd on the edge of their seats to thoroughly review the footage of the hit before announcing Nicanor the winner as pandemonium broke loose.
Nicanor broke down in tears, the pressure lifted off her after the Philippines failed to clinch the top prize in the first two days of the tournament.
She then went on to hand her medal to mother Emerita – a heartfelt moment that almost did not happen had Nicanor not kept her poise when she was down.
Permatasari led 8-5 midway through the match until Nicanor stringed 4 straight points to take a 9-8 advantage.
Undaunted, the Indonesian regained the upper hand and brought herself to a point within the gold medal, 14-13, to shush the Filipino crowd.
But the Filipina scored the last two points as she clinched the gold medal in her fourth SEA Games stint.
Earlier, Noelito Jose settled for bronze after suffering a 9-15 loss to Vietnam's Tien Nhat Nguyen in the semifinals of the men's individual foil.
The Philippines now has a 1-2-3 gold-silver-bronze tally heading into the last two days of competition. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.