Caption: Philippines’ Kirstie Elaine Alora battles Cambodia’s Sorn Seavmey
KUALA LUMPUR – at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center here.
Sorn Seavmey of Cambodia used her height, length and experience to the fullest to re-assert her mastery over Alora, 13-6, to cop the gold medal of the women’s -73 kg. division.
Also going down was teammate Francis Aaron Agojo, who fell way behind early and absorbed a 17-30 beating from Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Duy in the men’s -63 kg. semifinals to settle for the team’s third bronze medal.
Agojo went for broke in the waning seconds of the final round in trying to knock out his Vietnamese rival, who wisely evaded the Pinoy jin’s attempts in frittering the time away to advance to the finals.
A competitor in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and flag-bearer in this year’s biennial meet, Alora was the aggressor early on, but found herself trailing in the third and final round, 3-6, as the Cambodian, a gold medalist in the Incheon Asian Games in 2014, dominated her with crisp attacks and solid defense.
“Siguro kulang po ng follow-ups (I guess I lacked follow-ups). It’s a good fight. I did my best. No regrets,” said the 27-year-old Alora who also lost to the Cambodian in the Asian championships in Manila and in the semis of the Incheon Asian Games four years ago.
Not one to often question the officiating, Alora was beside herself over some of the referee’s calls that penalized her.
“Ewan ko about the officiating pero sa unang round and second round alam kong lamang ako (I don’t know with the officiating officer, but I was sure I was leading during the first and second rounds),” noted the two-time SEA Games gold medalist, who was fighting in a lower weight class together with the Cambodian. “I had about five gamjeoms (penalties) and that did not help me.”
“Usually nagtatapat kami sa finals (We usually fight during the finals), and we might do so again in the AIMAG (Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games),” added Alora, who will see action in the continental meet scheduled Sept. 17-27 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The Filipino jins closed the four-day tourney with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals, a result that is much lower than their tally of 3-3-2 in the Singapore SEA Games two years ago.