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BEIJINGâ€”Eleven days into the Beijing Olympics Tuesday, the Philippines continued to lay a big fat egg while five of the countryâ€™s Southeast Asian Games rivals have already barged into the medal standings.
SEA Games powerhouse Indonesia cashed in on its strength in badminton to bag one gold, one silver and a bronze. Two more bronzes in weightlifting made the Indonesians the most successful so far among the regionâ€™s athletes with a total of five medals.
Thailand, which succeeded the Philippines as the regionâ€™s sporting power at the 2007 SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima, is the only other winner of an Olympic gold with a victory in womenâ€™s weightlifting.
Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam also boast a silver each in different sports.
The other SEA Games nations still struggling to land a medal, apart from the Philippines, are Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia, East Timor and Brunei.
The Indonesians struck gold through the menâ€™s doubles team of Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, a silver from the mixed doubles pair of Nova Widianto and Liliyana and a bronze courtesy of Maria Kristin Yulianti in the womenâ€™s singles.
Lifters Eko Yuli Irawan and Triyatno bagged a bronze each in the menâ€™s 56 kg and 62 kg classes, respectively.
Thailand beat its neighbors to the scoreboard by landing the gold in the womenâ€™s 53 kg class of weightlifting through Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarak.
The Vietnamese, benefiting from what their coach said was an expensive two-year-long training in China, landed a silver in the menâ€™s 56 kg through Hoang Anh Tuan.
The womenâ€™s table tennis team of Feng Tianwei, Li Jiawei, Wang Yue Gu and Sun Bei Beiâ€”all former Chinese mainlandersâ€”gifted Singapore with its silver.
Malaysiaâ€™s world No. 2 shuttler Lee Chong Wei settled for the silver after bowing in straight sets to Chinaâ€™s world No. 1 Lin Dan in the menâ€™s singles.
By Ted S. Melendres
Philippine Daily Inquirer