Asian Games: Arnel Mandal bows to Chinese foe, settles for wushu sanda silver

Arnel Mandal (in red) settles for silver during his match for the finals of Sanda against Chinese opponent at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China. PSC-POC Pool
By Dugout Philippines

HANGZHOU, China–Sanda fighter Arnel Mandal dropped his final encounter against a favored foe on Thursday, delivering the first silver medal for the Philippines in the 19th Asian Games.

The 27-year-old Mandal unloaded a large quantity of punches in a desperate attempt to knock out China’s Jiang Haidong, but failed to find the target throughout their two-round contest.

Jiang eventually got away with the title, 2-0, in the men’s 56kg category at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre.

“Ginawa ko lahat ng aking makakaya pero hindi ako pinalad,’’ said Mandal, the 2015 World Sanda Championship men’s 52kg titleholder

There’s no need to be disappointed though. Mandal’s second-place finish is the first for Team Philippines apart from the five bronzes across the medal tally.

Gideon Padua ended his Asiad stint with a bronze in the men’s 60kg after Filipino wushu officials decided not to field him in the semifinals on Wednesday night due to a broken nose bridge.

Padua hurt his nose in an impressive quarterfinal win over Turkmenistan’s Agajumageldi Yazymov on Tuesday night.

“Ayaw namin i-risk pa si Gideon. Bronze na yan at mataas ang probability na matamaan ang injury nya sa mga kasunod na laban,’’ said Wushu Federation of the Philippines President Freddie Jalasco.

Joining Padua on the bronze podium is Clemente Tabugara Jr., who was assured of a medal after downing Kazakhstan’s Abdusamat Ashirov in the men’s 65kg quarterfinals before his run ended against Indonesia’s Samuel Marbun.

The Philippine wushu team wrapped its campaign with one silver and three bronze medals, including the taolu specialist Jones Inso’s medal performance in the men’s taijiquan-taijijian all-round.

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