Our golden girls in the Asiad; Nadal survival
By Al S. Mendoza
THE final score is four gold medals for us in Jakarta.
That was a very huge improvement from our lone gold medal in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, calling for a celebration big time.
The quadrennial event is Asia’s Olympic Games.
You can just imagine how our very best were pitted also against the very best from 44 other Asian nations during the two-week Asiad.
Simply too tough to handle for our 272-strong delegation.
That is why when you come down to it, our five gold medal winners in Jakarta deserve our collective blast of thunderous, lusty, cheers.
And because our golden winners were all women, the more we need to scream for joy.
Actually, it was the second time that the Filipino woman had scored it big in overseas battles.
Wasn’t Hidilyn Diaz the only medal winner in the 2016 Rio Olympics, lifting the weightlifting silver in her 53-kilo event?
This time, Hidilyn gave us more reason to be euphoric, capturing the gold in Jakarta to lead four other women into a gleaming golden finish.
Yuka Saso pocketed the women’s golf gold and, in the process, towed Bianca Pagdanganan and LK Go to gold victory for a golden sweep in the women’s team event.
Margielyn Didal made it a four-gold harvest for the country when she scored a stunning win in the street skateboarding—an event that nobody knew about until the Cebuana lass spectacularly emerged victorious.
Four golds from five teenagers, save for Diaz who is 24. Yuka and Bianca are both 17, Go 16. Margielyn is 19.
The future looks bright for them but more importantly, the country has so much to be thankful for them.
Why? They might yet proceed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics just only two years from now.
Let’s pray they will. One of them might just win that elusive first ever Olympic gold.
While I was writing this, I was throwing glimpses, aggressively, at the quarterfinal match between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows in New York.
I just couldn’t skip watching the U.S. Open, even just on TV, as it brings me sweet memories, one of which is the fact that I was there myself during the 2006 U.S. Open.
Roger Federer was the winner then to retain his 2005 title, defeating 2003 champion Rodney Roddick in the finals.
Nadal had the biggest scare of his life when he barely eked out a 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 victory over a vastly-improved Thiem.
The 34-year-old Nadal had to survive Thiem’s power game, their match—the tournament’s longest at nearly five hours duration—ending exactly at2:04 a.m. on Wednesday.
The winning point for Nadal came when Thiem, 23, hit an overhead wide left while returning a screeching backhand on the run by the three-time U.S. Open champion.
“Thiem is a great player,” said Nadal. “I’m very sorry for him. But a good future awaits him.”
After absorbing that 6-0 blanking in the first set, Nadal said he told himself going to the second set: “Hey, wake up. Forget about it. Stay in the match.”
It took him 4 hours and 49 minutes before he could wake up to defeat Thiem, an absolute rising star from Austria.
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