MANILA – Christine Hallasgo pulled off the improbable. She outsprinted fellow Filipina and 2017 gold medal winner Mary Joy Tabal to capture the women’s marathon gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games yesterday at New Clark City in Capaz, Tarlac.
Hallasgo, a native of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, had a winning time of 2 hours, 56 minutes and 56 seconds, while Tabal came in at 2:58:49.00 before collapsing after crossing the finish line.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon kasi nakuha ko nang last one lap, kinaya ko pa po. Hindi ko in-expect ito,” Hallasgo said. “Tinignan ko lang kung sino’ng nasa una sa akin, nag-focus ako na baka maabutan ko.”
Tabal sent her congratulations to Hallasgo afterwards but could not hide her disappointment after failing to defend the gold. She got exhausted late in the race.
“I’m happy for Christine. This is her first SEA Games appearance. I’m also happy and proud that we made it first and second. Definitely, I’m most happy that we all made it safe,” Tabal said.
Added the 30-year-old Cebuana, “I was heat-exhausted. I was cramping all over. Sa sarili ko, I was running fourth and I just wanted to finish the race safe. Pero unknowingly nag-second pala ako.”
Team Philippines, meanwhile, completed a six-gold sweep in obstacle race with Mervin Guarte and Sherwin Managil netting the gold and silver in men’s individual obstacle race.
Sandi Abraham and Gloriem Merisco also had a 1-2 finish on distaff side.
Mixed martial arts fighter Mark Striegl and Chino Sy, meanwhile, delivered gold medals each in the sambo event, while Patrick Manicad and Jose Mondejar III settled for bronze medal finishes.
Michael Comaling copped the gold medal in the beach triathlon after dominating the event that had the competitors compete in a shoot-swim-run course, clocking in at 17 minutes and 8.87 seconds.
Mariya Takahashi also netted a gold medal for the Team Philippines in judo while Gilbert Ramirez settled for a silver medal in the men’s.
Bianca Pagdanganan also won a gold in golf’s women’s individual one stroke play.
Jermyn Prado failed to clinch her second gold after settling for just silver in cycling, while Hermie Macaranas won a silver in canoe 100 meter freestyle event.
In underwater hockey, the women’s captured the silver, while the men’s team nabbed bronze.
Swimmer Nicole OIiva, Jasmine Alkhaldi, Xiandi Chua and Remedy Rule won a bronze in 4×200 meter relay, while Alberto Lim Jr. and Jeson Patrombon also have bronzes in tennis./PN