University of the East standout Marella Vania Salamat contributed one gold to the medal haul of the Philippines following her impressive showing in the women’s individual time trial of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games cycling competitions on Thursday at the Maribay Bay South in Singapore.
The 21-year-old Salamat crossed the finish line in 44 minutes and 46.38 seconds to rule the 30-kilometer event.
“Nagbunga ang lahat ng pinaghirapan ko. Kasama na rin ang pagtitiwala sa sarili at sa extensive training namin sa Pilipinas,” said the second year Dentistry student.
Salamat perennial title contender Chanpeng Nontasin of Thailand (45:32.34) and 2013 Myanmar SEA Games champion Chan Siew Kheng of Singapore (47:44.91), who were relegated to second and third, respectively.
“She’s a very strong rider and if gi¬ven the proper attention, she could go a long, long way,” said cycling na¬tional team head coach Chris Allison.
Not as fortunate was Mark John Lexer Galedo, a gold medalist in Myanmar Games, who finished sixth overall in the men’s time trial with a time of 56:21.59. Another Filipino bet Ronald Oranza likewise missed a podium finish following his 56:00.34, just 21-second late against bronze medalist Trinh Duc Tam of Vietnam (55:39.20).
“Nawala ang rhythm ko pagdating sa second lap. Naghabol pa rin ako sa last lap at nakuha ko pero malayo na,” said Galedo.
Indonesian Robin Manullang (53:55.41) and Thai Turakit Boonratanathanakorn (54:47.57) grabbed the first two spots.
On a brighter note, Jeson Patrombon and Katharina Lehnert kept the medal hopes burning as they reach the semifinals of their respective singles events.
Patrombon ousted 2011 SEA Games gold medalist Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia, 6-2, 7-6, while Lehnert routed Phone¬phathep Philavong of Laos, 6-1, 6-0.
In women’s volleyball, the Power Pinays bounced back with a straight-set win (25-15, 25-18, 25-16) over the Malaysians. Alyssa Valdez had 13 points and Dindin Santiago contributed eight to tow the Philippines to a 1-1 mark.
Overall, the Philippines has 22 golds, 23 silvers and 36 bronzes to stay in sixth place behind Singapore (61-53-65), Vietnam (53-26-47), Thailand (49-59-43), Malaysia (28-31-39) and Indonesia (26-31-44).