[Youth Olympics] Moreno pairs with Chinese to win Olympic gold

The high school junior’s feat is the first Philippine medal at any Olympic competition since the silver medal by boxer Mansueto Velasco at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

 

 

MANILA (The Filipino Connection)–Just when you thought every Olympic Games is a ho-hum event for competing Filipino athletes, surprise came to a Southeast Asian country that had been medal-less in Olympic competitions for nearly two decades.

Mr. Luis Gabriel Moreno teamed up with Chinese Ms. Li Jiaman to win the gold medal in the recurve international mixed team event in archery in the ongoing Second Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Luis Gabriel Moreno and teammate Ms. Li Jiaman of China topped the mixed team recurve event at the archery competitions of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in China. His feat is the country's first medal at any Olympic event in nearly two decades.

Luis Gabriel Moreno and teammate Ms. Li Jiaman of China topped the mixed team recurve event at the archery competitions of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in China. His feat is the country’s first medal at any Olympic event in nearly two decades.

Moreno and Jiaman was far ahead of the pair of Mr. Muhamad Zolkepeli of Malaysia and Ms. Cynthia Freywald of Germany with a 6-0 romp in the finals for the gold medal.

This is the Philippines’ first Olympic medal–whether it is the traditional Summer or Winter Olympic Games or this Youth Olympic Games, both held every four years. This is even the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal.

With the German Freywald struggling amid two successive 10s from Zolkepeli in the first set, a 10 apiece by Moreno and Li complemented their 9s to give the Asian pair a 38-37 first set win and the first two points.

Moreno and Li, whose mother countries are in a territorial dispute, again had a pair of 10 and 9 scores in the second set, while a 7 from Freywald proved costly for a 38-35 scoreline in the second set. The 17-year-old Li afterwards was all smiles and gave a thumbs up to 16-year-old Moreno.

Malaysian Zolkepeli then had an 8 and a 9 while the German Frewald had to 8s. Li roared the pro-Chinese crowd with a third ten while Moreno all but secured the gold medal with a final 9 score for the easy romp and the gold medal.

The mixed pairs were determined given the top 16 placings in the individual recurve events. The top female archer is paired with the 32nd-ranked male archer, and the reverse. Moreno is 30th in the boys’ event while partner Lin is third in the girls’ side.

A pair is given 80 secs. (or 20 secs. a piece per one’s turn) to shoot an arrow.

Moreno, a third-year high school student of De La Salle-Greenhills, was actually eliminated already in the individual boys’ recurve event.

Li and Moreno started their drive for the gold at 9:46 a.m. with a 5-3 win over Ms. Verona Villegas of Venezuela and Mr. Boris Balaz of Slovakia in the round-of-16. The romp continued with a 5-1 triumph over Ms. Sughrakhanim Mugabilzada of Azerbaijan and Mr. Hiroki Muto of Japan in the quarterfinals.

A similar winning 5-1 scoreline came at the expense of Ms. Mirjam Tuokkola of Finland and Mr. Eric Peters of Canada in the semifinal round. In the other semifinal, Syamad and Frewald beat a pair from Guatemala and Belgium.

Moreno got eliminated at the knockout round-of-32 in the individual boys’ event after losing to Luis D’Almeida of Brazil, 87-75.

Moreno nailed a berth in the Nanjing Youth Olympics when he won gold at a continental qualifying tournament in Taipei in November 2013.

The other Philippine entry in Nanjing, Bianca Gotauco, also topped the same event in Taipei and placed 11th in the girls’ individual recurve ranking round. But like Moreno, Gotauco lost in the round-of-32 knockout stage to Bryony Pitman of the United Kingdom.

Nanjing2014The Youth Olympic Games is for athletes aged 14-18 years old. The first edition was held in Singapore in 2010.

Moreno is the grandson of long-time talent manager and television and radio host German “Kuya Germs” Moreno. He also carried the Philippine flag at the opening ceremonies here in Nanjing.

Jiaman, for her part, is still in the hunt for a medal at the individual recurve event tomorrow, Aug. 25.

As for the Philippine contingent, there was not much expectation of landing a medal in these Games apart from what official broadcaster TV5 is saying in every telecast of a Filipino athlete’s competition: “vying for a medal.”

 

 

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About JEREMAIAH M,. OPINIANO