Patrimonio to snap golden drought

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KUALA LUMPUR: Anna Clarice Patrimonio clashes with Kuksika Kumkhum of Thailand, looking to end the country’s eight-year gold medal drought in the women’s lawn tennis event of the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

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The 23-year old Patrimonio, who won the bronze medal in the biennial meet in Palembang in 2011, beams with confidence over her chances, believing that she would emerge victorious in her first-ever finals stint at the National Tennis Center here.

Clarice Patrimonio CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“Gagawin ko po lahat ng makakaya ko,” said Patrimonio, who is looking to become the first Filipina netter to win a gold medal for the country after 16 years.

She, however, is the first Filipina to reach the women’s singles finals after Pia Tamayo, Maricris Fernandez, Marissa Sanchez and Evangeline Olivarez.

Tamayo gave the country its first-ever gold medal in women’s singles when she ruled the event in the 1981 Manila SEA Games before Fernandez duplicated the feat in the 1991 edition in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Sanchez, meanwhile, took home the gold when lawn tennis was included as a medal sport and was played in the 1977 Kuala Lumpur biennial meet before being duplicated by Olivarez in the 1993 Games in Singapore.

The daughter of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) star Alvin Patrimonio, Clarice defeated fourth-seed Ka Andrea Deray of Cambodia, 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal match.

Kumkhum, on the other hand, is coming in as the top rank after defeating Tan Li Stefani of Singapore, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals.

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