Mendoza assured of AYG tennis bronze
NANJING – Right after last Thursday’s draw, rising Filipino tennis star Jurence Mendoza said he liked his chances in the second Asian Youth Games here.
After three matches over the last five days at the Tennis Academy of China, the 17-year-old freshman at University of the Philippines is right on track.
Mendoza, second seed here and No. 89 in the world youth rankings, remained undefeated following a 6-1, 6-2 win over Hong Kong’s Hong Kit Wong.
It was another impressive win for Mendoza who has never lost a set in three matches and has lost only a total of five games. He said yesterday’s match assured him of a bronze.
“We’re in the semis now, good for bronze. But I want to win the gold medal here,” said Mendoza who played before Pinoy officials led by chef-de-mission Tac Padilla and deputy CDM Jonne Go.
In the semis, he faces either Roman Khassanov of Kazakhstan, ranked 473 in the world and unseeded here, or Garvit Batra of the International Olympic Athletes.
Batra, No. 244 in the world and also unseeded here, is from India, but since his country is under suspension by the IOC, he and his countrymen here compete under the AOI flag.
A fourth victory will push Mendoza to the finals most likely against Zeng Weiqlang, the Chinese top seed.
The Philippines won the gold and silver in girls’ golf the other day courtesy of Mia Legaspi and Princess Superal. The competition here runs until Saturday.
Mendoza wants to add up to the Philippines’ medal haul.
Mendoza said the draw favored him here because the better players joined each other in the upper bracket while a couple of seeded players in the lower half have been booted out.
The Filipino lost the opening game but went on to win the first set at 6-1. After a 2-2 count in the second set, Mendoza poured it on to win the match in just under one hour.
“I briefly lost focus in the match in the second set. But when I broke him in the (sixth game) it got my confidence going,” said Mendoza.
In the first round, he defeated Nepal’s Abhishek Bastola, 6-0, 6-1, in only 30 minutes and crushed Rashid Albader of Kuwait, 6-0, 6-1, in only 40 minutes in the second round.
The 3-on-3 basketball team of Isaac Go, Patrick Ramirez and Andrei Caracut was playing Iran as of press time. The winner advances to the semifinals.
Fil-American twins Kayla and Kyla Richardson fell short in their bid for a medal in the girls’ 100m dash the other night at the Nanjing Olympic Stadium.
Kayla, who topped her heat at 12.21 seconds, finished fifth in the finals at 12.30 while Kyla, third in her heat at 12.28, came in sixth at 12.38.
China’s Ge Manqui was the fastest girl of the meet, winning the gold in 11.91 seconds. Silver went to Thailand’s Charoensuk Sintaksib (12.19) and bronze to another Chinese, Song Min, at 12.26.
The father of the twins, Jeff Richardson, said if this meet was held earlier in May or June, Kayla and Kyla could have done better because they were at their peak then,” he said.
The Richardsons will still see action tonight in the 200m run.
In other track events Tuesday, long jumper Mary Anthony Diesto and pole vaulter Emily Obiena improved on their personal bests but still landed way of the marks here.
Diesto was seventh in a field of 11 in Group B with a jump of 5.24 meters while Obiena cleared 3.10m and broke her old Philippine youth record of 3.00m.
In swimming, Catherin Bondad was third in heat 2 of the girls’ 200m back in 2:30.31, Chloe Daos was fifth in heat 1 of the girls’ 100m butterfly in 1:06.57 while Jeremy Lim was also fifth in heat 3 of boys’ 100m butterfly in 58.10.
Shooter Enrique Gazmin was way off in the boys’ 10m air pistol, posting 528 points for 31st place. Also in action as of presstime yesterday was taekwondo’s Francis Agojo in the boys’ 53 kg.