Filipino archers steal gold from Malaysians
NAY PYI TAW – A gritty three-man team watched the squad from Malaysia collapse as the pressure mounted in the wind in the last 30 arrows and won the gold medal in the team compound in archery in the 27th Southeast Asian Games.
In the 50-meter final, Earl Benjamin Yap, Ian Chipeco and Jose Ferdinand Adriano each scored a perfect 10 while the Malaysian team went 9-9, then sealed its collapse with a dismal 6, giving the Filipinos the gold in team compound in archery at the Wunnum Theikdi National Sports Complex.
The win is a repeat of the 2011 conquest of the Philippine team of Delfin Anthony Adriano, Rosendo Sembrito and Yap.
Chipeco, member of the national team after only two years of training, made a pressure-free perfect 10 as the first on the stand.
With the Philippines leading by a shot, 10-9, Yap, the top-ranked member of the team, also did a perfect 10 on his turn, giving the Philippines a 20-18 lead going into the last 10 arrows.
Adriano needed only nine to ensure the victory and went on to score another perfect mark , sending the Philippine squad and Filipino supporters in a wild celebration over the country’s first and last gold in the archery competitions.
The wind, which blew hard in the afternoon, and new rules requiring each marksman to shoot the target within 40 seconds after the sound of the buzzer, were the key factors in the fortunes of the participants, including the team from Myanmar, which lost to the Philippines, 205-223 in the semifinals.
The Philippines drew a bye into the semifinals as the highest-ranked team, with Yap ranked second, Adriano seventh and Chipeco 11th.
Chipeco, a Temple Hills International high school senior who at 18 is the team’s youngest, was a last-minute participant after Dean Adriano got ill on the eve of competitions.
Malaysia advanced to the final after a close 226-225 victory over Thailand in the other semifinal.
Archery also produced a bronze medal from Yap in the individual compounds.