Paul Marton dela Cruz won the Olympic round men's individual compound to win his second gold medal in the 2018 Asia Cup - Stage 2 archery competition at the Rizal Memorial Baseball field in Malate, Manila yesterday.
The 31-year-old Dela Cruz and Chen Hsiang-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei both scored 143 points but the Filipino won the shoot-off, 10-9, to clinch the gold.
"I dedicate this victory to God, to my country and my family," said Dela Cruz after the shoot-off.
Dela Cruz, a native of Talavera town in Nueva Ecija, defeated Lin Hsin-Min of Chinese Taipei, 144-140, in the quarterfinals and Aman Saini of India, 148-146, in the semifinals.
Chen Hsiang-Hsuan, on the other hand, won over Xing Yifei of China, 143-143 (shoot-off, 10-9), in the quarterfinals before posting a 145-144 victory over compatriot, Lin Che-Wei, in the semifinals.
Lin Che-Wei, who eliminated Filipino Earl Benjamin Yap, 144-140, in the quarterfinals, failed to pocket the bronze medal, which went to Saini, who won 145-138, in their semifinal match.
Dela Cruz delivered the country's first gold in the tournament with a new Philippine record of 704 points (354-350) on Saturday. He erases the 703 national record he set at the 2014 National Open.
Dela Cruz was actually tied with Lin Che-Wei but he had more arrows in the 10 and X rings, 57-56, to clinch the gold.
Lin, who placed second after the first round with 352 points and topped the second round with the same score, settled for the silver medal.
Huang Wei of China tallied 697 to pocket the bronze medal. He was ranked No. 3 after scoring 351 in the first round and was No. 6 in the second round with 346 points.
Joseph Vicencio was ranked No. 7 with 688 points (347-341), Yap was 10th with 686 points (349-337) and Barbin Dranoel was 19th with 666 points (332-334).
"It's a wonderful feeling to get the gold medal," said Dela Cruz, who set a new Philippine record of 702 points when he won the bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, after winning his first gold.
"I did not expect to win, I was actually nervous in the first round. But I just stayed focused and did my best," said the 5-foot-11 Dela Cruz, who played volleyball before trying his hands on archery during his junior year in high school.
In the recurve men qualification round, Wei Chun-Heng of Chinese Taipei registered 673 points (338-335) to win the gold while his compatriot, Jao Ting-Yu grabbed the bronze medal with 667 points (338-329). Seo Mingi of South Korea tallied 669 points (333-336) to pocket the silver medal.
Mark Javier finished 18th (624), Florante Matan (626) placed 26th followed by Luis Gabriel Moreno (625), while Jonathan Reaport was 31st (623).
A total of 113 players from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Thailand, Qatar, India, Malaysia and host Philippines are competing in the Manila leg of the Asia Cup, which is world-ranking tournament. The first leg was held in Bangkok, Thailand (March 2-9) while the third leg will be hosted by Chinese Taipei from July 9-12.*PNA
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