The Southeast Asian Games recently celebrated its most recent edition at the Expo Hall 1 in Singapore, and the five-day long competition produced many memorable performances.
Bout of the finals
Former AIBA Women’s World Champion Josie Gabuco met Thailand’s AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat in the Women’s Light Flyweight class (48 kg) final, and the two talented athletes produced a very entertaining match.
Gabuco suffered some unexpected losses last year, but she is vastly improved in 2015 and used her footwork and counter-attacking prowess to impress the judges in Singapore.
Raksat never gave up, but the fluidity of Gabuco prevented her from taking control.
The final verdict was a unanimous decision verdict in favour of Gabuco, who bagged the first Filipino gold medal in the Games.
Team of the Southeast Asian Games
The Philippines achieved five golds in Singapore, which enabled the team to finish above Vietnam and Thailand in the team rankings.
After Josie Gabuco won their lone gold medal in the women’s part of the competition, Ian Clark Bautista sealed gold at Flyweight (52 kg) with strong performances against Thailand’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Chatchai Butdee, and Singapore’s Mohamed Hanurdeen Bin Hamid.
Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Mario Fernandez shocked Thailand’s Tanes Ongjunta in the final of the men’s Bantamweight class (56 kg), while Junel Cantancio outperformed Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hai at Lightweight (60 kg).
Former AIBA Junior World Champion Eumir Felix Marcial then knocked down Singapore’s Tay Jia Wei in the Light Welterweight (64 kg) final to deliver the fifth gold medal for his country.
Surprise of the Games
Although Vietnam’s Le Thi Bang had achieved a bronze medal in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games at Flyweight (51 kg), she was not the favourite in the Women’s Bantamweight class (54 kg) final against Philippines’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nesthy Petecio.
Despite her underdog status, the taller Vietnamese fighter accurately followed her coaches instructions and kept her distance to avoid Petecio’s quick attacks.
Le Thi Bang eventually won the bout by split decision to achieve the biggest surprise of the Southeast Asian Games.
One to watch
Thailand’s current Asian Games winner and former ASBC Asian Continental Champion Wuttichai Masuk provided one of the best overall performances in the entire Games when he dominated all of his bouts in Singapore.
Masuk’s footwork was absolutely superb, and it helped him defeat Cambodia’s Ven Ratha in their Light Welterweight (64 kg) final.
Ratha’s silver was also an exceptional result for himself and his nation.
Facts from the Southeast Asian Games
The Southeast Asian Games was held across four women’s weight classes: 48 kg, 51 kg, 54 kg and 57 kg, and seven men’s categories: 49 kg, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg and 75 kg.
Nine out of the ten participating nations achieved at least one bronze medal, with The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia all securing top positions in Singapore.
List of the winners in Singapore
- Women’s 48 kg: Josie Gabuco, Philippines
- Women’s 51 kg: Nguyen Thi Yen, Vietnam
- Women’s 54 kg: Le Thi Bang, Vietnam
- Women’s 57 kg: Tassamalee Thongjan, Thailand
- Men’s 49 kg: Kornelis Kwangu Langu, Indonesia
- Men’s 52 kg: Ian Clark Bautista, Philippines
- Men’s 56 kg: Mario Fernandez, Philippines
- Men’s 60 kg: Junel Cantancio, Philippines
- Men’s 64 kg: Wuttichai Masuk, Thailand
- Men’s 69 kg: Eumir Felix Marcial, Philippines
- Men’s 75 kg: Truong Dinh Hoang, Vietnam