SEA GAMES: Philippine swimming gold taken back after protest

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The gold medal of the Philippines’ Jasmine Alkhaldi in the women’s 100-meter freestyle was recalled by the organizers of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games after her victory came under protest.

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The London Olympics veteran finished first in the event’s final with a time of 56.65 seconds. Singaporean Ting Wen Quah came in second and another Sinagaporean, Amanda Xiang Qi Lim, third.

Thai Natthanan Junkrajang was fourth.

The gold had been awarded to Alkhaldi but the Thailand Swimming Association (TSA) filed a protest.

The TSA claimed there was a false start, prompting Thai swimmer Jenjira Srisa Ard to momentarily hesitate. Srisa Ard swam on only after realizing that the race was not stopped.

After reviewing the incident, the organizers confirmed the false start and ordered a re-swim at 6 p.m. (7:30 p.m. in Manila) on Friday.

The 20-year-old Alkhaldi expressed disappointment at having her medal taken back. “Mahina ‘yung coach ko eh. Ewan ko sa kaniya kung bakit siya pumayag” (My coach didn’t put up a fight), said Alkhaldi referring to national team head coach Pinky Brosas.

As of Friday afternoon, the Philippine Olympic Committee officials led by Chef de Mission Jeff Tamayo and Brosas were in a close-door meeting to discuss their next move.

EMIL C. NOGUERA

 

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