INCHEON, South Korea: Southeast Asian Games titlist Charly Suarez kept the country’s gold-medal hopes alive as he advanced to the medal round of the 2014 Asian Games boxing competitions on Monday at the Seonhak Gymnasium here.
Suarez, a former World Series of Boxing campaigner, posted a convincing 3-0 unanimous decision win over Ammar Jabbar Hasan Hasan of Iraq to reach the semifinals of the men’s lightweight division. Suarez got the nod of three judges, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27.
He is now assured of a bronze medal.
On Thursday, the Filipino pug shoots for a spot in the finals when he collides with Jordanian Obada Mohammad Mustafa Alkasbeh, who ousted hometown bet Han Soonchul, 3-0.
Earlier, Suarez defeated Elnur Abduraimov of Uzbekistan, 2-1, and Akhil Kumar of India, 2-1.
Wilfredo Lopez blasted Waheed Abdulridha Waheed of Iraq, 3-0, to advance to the next round of the men’s middleweight. Lopez sealed a quarterfinal showdown with Shinebayar Narmadndakh of Mongolia.
Other medal prospects Mark Anthony Barriga and Mario Fernandez will be gunning for semifinal seats on Tuesday. Barriga meets Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the men’s light flyweight and Fernandez tackles Shiva Thapa of India in the men’s bantamweight.
The national tae kwon do team, meanwhile, hopes to live up to its lofty billing as four Filipino jins start their bid also on Tuesday at the Ganghwa Dolmens Gymnasium.
Myanmar Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison goes up against Wong Soi Chun of Macau in the men’s -74 kilograms Round-of-32 while SEA Games champion Kristopher Robert Uy, Levita Ronna Ilao and Nicole Abigail Cham are already in the Round-of-16 due to limited number of participants in their respective weight classes.
Ilao opens her bid against Doan Thi Huong Giang of Vietnam in the women’s -49 kgs., Cham faces Sarita Phongsri of Thailand in the women’s -53 kgs., and Uy battles Hao Chao of Macau in the men’s -87 kgs.
The other members of the team are Japoy Lizardo (men’s -54 kgs.), Francis Aaron Agojo (men’s -58 kgs.), Pauline Louise Lopez (women’s -57 kgs.), Jane Rafael Narra (women’s -67 kgs.), Kirstie Elaine Alora (women’s -73 kgs.), Mary Anjelay Pelaez (women’s-46 kgs.), Christian Al Dela Cruz (men’s -80 kgs.) and Benjamin Sembrano (men’s -68 kgs.).
Tae kwon do has been a consistent medal producer in the past edition of the quadrennial meet. In 2006 in Doha, Qatar, they won two silvers and three bronzes then settled for three bronzes in 2010 in Guangzhou, China.
Powerhouse China virtually clinched the overall title with a commanding 109-gold, 68-silver, 52-bronze showing, ahead of South Korea (43-49-48), Japan (35-47-48), Kazakhstan (15-14-22) and North Korea (8-8-10).
With two silvers and two bronzes, the Philippines is at 26th place overall and seventh among Southeast Asian countries. Thailand is at eighth (5-2-13), Malaysia at 13th (3-9-8), Indonesia at 15th (2-3-7), Myanmar at 17th (2-1-0), Vietnam at 18th (1-8-20) and Singapore at 19th (1-4-7).