MANILA, 3 December 2005 — Joscelin Yeo won her fifth gold medal of the Southeast Asian Games yesterday, this time with a little help from her friends.
Yeo, who had won four previous individual swim golds, was part of the Singapore 4x100 medley relay team that finished first yesterday, putting her within one of the six she won two years ago at Vietnam when she was named the top Athlete of the Games.
Yesterday, Yeo was joined by Tao Li, Nicolette Teo Wei Min and Ho Shu Yong to finish in four minutes, 14.49 seconds, nearly six seconds ahead of the silver medal-winning Philippines.
The 26-year-old Yeo, who has competed in every Olympics for Singapore since 1992, will have a chance to equal her 2003 mark if she wins the 50-meter freestyle on the final night of swimming today.
“I need to stay focused and not think about how many medals I can win,” said Yeo, adding that “everyone in the team has contributed to our success here.” Thailand picked up two gold medals Friday in the pool, with Arwut Chinnapasaen winning the men’s 50 freestyle and Jiratida Phinyosophon the women’s 200 freestyle. Filipino Miguel Mendoza won the 1,500 freestyle in 15 minutes, 47.36 seconds, more than eight seconds ahead of second-place Charnvudth Saengri of Thailand.
Teeratep Winothai scored two goals as Thailand defeated Indonesia 3-1 to reach its seventh straight Games soccer final. Thailand will play Vietnam, which beat Malaysia 2-1 yesterday, in tomorrow’s final.
“We were very lucky, they were without two key players for the match,” said Thai coach Chanvit Phalavijin.
“Still, this wasn’t our best, there were too many mistakes.” Four Filipino and two Thai boxers advanced to the finals of the boxing competition as two of Asia’s powerhouses in the sport filled the cards for the gold-medal bouts today. Philippine boxer Joan Tipon decked Laos’ Sayyalak Chathasone to set up a grudge bout with former Thai kickboxing champion Thaengthong Klongchan in the bantamweight category.
The Philippines won its third game by shutout to advance to the baseball semifinals, beating Thailand 10-0 yesterday.
The host team will play Myanmar in one semifinal today while Thailand takes on Indonesia, which beat Myanmar 6-5 in the other game yesterday. Wandee Kameaim, an Athens Olympics bronze medalist, won gold in the women’s 63-kilogram weightlifting class with a total lift of 230 kilograms. In the men’s 85-kilogram class, Sandow Weldemar Nasution of Indonesia won gold.
Singapore’s Cheng Jing Hean won the men’s triathlon, finishing more than three minutes ahead of the field on the course at the former Subic Bay US naval base northwest of Manila.
Malaysian student Kimbeley Yap, a former bronze medalist in the Southeast Asian Games pool, won the women’s triathlon on Thursday. It was the first time triathlon was contested as a medal sport at the SEA Games.
In the traditional boat race, the Philippines won both the men’s and women’s races over the 1,000-meter distances, the men with 10 on board and the women in the 20-a-side division. The Philippines continued to lead the gold medal race, approaching 70, a 20-gold lead over second-place Vietnam.
More than 100 medals will be awarded tomorrow. East Timor, a former Indonesian province competing in its second Southeast Asian Games, is the only one of 11 countries here to have not won a medal.
It will have its best chance of breaking the drought when six of the 33-athlete East Timorese delegation — three men and three women — compete today and tomorrow in arnis, a Filipino martial art that emphasizes stick fighting.