KUALA LUMPUR (PhilAmPress) — Many Filipino Americans shined in the just concluded 29th Southeast Asian Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur winning gold, silver and bronze medals.
New York’s Trenten Anthony Beram, 21, a University of Connecticut mathematics major whose mother hails from Cebu, led the Filams with two gold medals in the men’s 200 and 400 meters run.
Beram also won a bronze medal when their 400-meter relay team consisting of fellow Filipino American Eric Cray, and Anfernee Lopena and Archand Bagsit came in third behind Malaysia and Indonesia.
Cray, 28, who was born in Olongapo City, before moving to Sacramento, California with his parents, earlier won gold in the 400 meters hurdles and silver in 100 meters sprint.
Cray studied at the James Madison High School in San Antonio, Texas, has a degree in Education from Bethune-Cookman University and a master’s degree in Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma.
FilAm Kaitlin de Guzman, 17, of Rowlett, Texas and a member of the University of Oklahoma team, is the winningest woman athlete with a gold, silver and bronze in gymnasts.
Another FilAm, Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison, romped off with the gold in the taekwondo competition on Aug. 29.
Born in Olongapo City of an American serviceman father and Filipina mother, Morrison and family migrated to Maryland but returned to the Philippines when he was seven years old.
Now 27, Morrison, a graduate of rhe University of Sto. Tomas vowed to compete in the 2019 SEA Games which Manila will host.
Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano rallied Team Philippines seeing action in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which the country will host in 2019.
Cayetano congratulated the victors as well as commended all Filipino athletes who gave all out their best for flag and country. On Saturday, the Philippines routed the Indonesian five 94-55 and retained the basketball crown, which mattered most for Filipinos struggling to make the Big 5 among 11 nations in the games, raising the country’s gold to 18.
Other Filipino Americans who shined in the games were fencing gold medalist Louie Wayne Brennan of California, gymnast gold, silver and bronze medalist Kaitlin de Guzman of Texas, only 17 years old, whose mother Cintamoni de Guzman was also a gymnast gold medalist in the 1995 SEA Games, swimmer silver and bronze medalist James Deiparine of Seattle, Washington but graduated from the California Polytechnic State University, golf bronze medalist Lois Kaye Go, 18, who studies at Boston College, BMX cycling bronze medalist Daniel Caluag and swimmer Nicole Justine Marie Oliva.
On the same day, the Philippines collected three more golds two of which courtesy of the poomsae team in taekwondo and the third from judoka Miyoki Watanabe.
The two-time poomsae champion team annexed its third straight crown while Watanabe, training her sights beyond the SEA Games, gained her third straight crown.
Also that day, Fil-American James Deiparine who topped the 50m breaststroke event in 28.20 seconds in the morning heats, clocked only 28.60 for the bronze behind defending champion Indra Gunawan of Indonesia in 28.25.
As of Saturday night (Aug. 26), the Philippines had a gold-silver-bronze medal tally of 18-24-45, not counting the gold-silver in the 9-ball women’s singles. The Philippines trailed Indonesia (31-43-52), Thailand (44-64-63), Singapore (46-35-52), Vietnam (49-34-43) and frontrunning Malaysia (82-58-53).
Brothers Dustin Jacob and Raphael Enrico Mella, who first won the gold in 2013 and in 2015, and this year in partnership with Rodolfo Reyes, scored an average of 3.40 in accuracy and 4.97 in presentation for a total of 8.37 in the men’s team poomsae to give the taekwondo team its first gold following the bronze medal win of the women’s team.
Reyes won the Philippines’ bronze in the men’s individual poomsae earlier.
The women’s team of Rinna Bananto, Juvenile Faye Crisostomo and Jocel Lyn Ninobla scored 8.27 for the bronze in the women’s event.
Watanabe immediately threw her opponent to the ground, then pinned her down for 36 seconds to win the gold in the -63 kg class in women’s judo.
The win gave judo its first gold and one of many other international medals for the Filipino Olympian who is already being included by the Philippine Sports Commission in its program for the 2020 Olympics following her impressive bronze medal finish in the tough Tokyo International Judo Championships last July.
Right after receiving the gold medal in the awarding ceremonies, she left the stadium and Malaysia to catch the first flight to the World Championships in Budapest.
Three silver and eight bronze medals were the other mints in the day following second place finishes by Anna Clarice Patrimonio in the women’s singles in tennis, the pair of Marcelito Pancho and Angelo Morales in men’s pair event in lawn bowls and the team of Sophia Joker Arroyo, Marie Antonette Leviste and Syquia Collins in the showjumping event of equestrian.
Asian Games champion Daniel Caluag, a Filipino American from California, lacking the training and preparation that earned him the gold in the quadrennial meet in 2014, settled for the bronze in BMX cycling.
Athletics’ last bronze medals came from Kingsley Bautista in the 110 meter hurdles and the 4x400m relay. The fourth bronze came from Mark Griffin in waterski.
Jasmine Alkhaldi earned her fourth bronze medal, finishing with a time of 2:02:02 in the 200m freestyle.