Jason Balabal whips home bet for gold in Greco Roman wrestling – rezal404

Jason Balabal SEA Games 2023

Southeast Asian Games – Wrestling – Chroy Changvar Convention Center Hall E, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – May 14, 2023 Men’s Greco-Roman 82kg gold medalist Philippines’ Jason Balabal celebrates during the medal ceremony REUTERS/Cindy Liu

PHNOM PENH—Jason Balabal grappled with Keo Sophak and endured the jeers of the hometown crowd before snaring the gold medal at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

The veteran wrestler from Ifugao floored the Cambodian, 4-0, to rule the Greco-Roman 87kg event, more than a decade after reaching the top of the medal podium again in the sport at these games.

Balabal, best remembered as flag-bearer during the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar in his Igorot outfit, finished third in the 97kg of the freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines in Hanoi, Vietnam last year.

Prior to his victory on Sunday, the 37-year-old grappler won the gold in the SEA Games twice—in the freestyle at the 2009 Laos edition and in the Greco-Roman at the 2011 Games held in Indonesia.

Balabal’s efforts helped bump up the Philippine collection to 46 gold medals, 70 silvers and 84 bronzes, overtaking Singapore at fifth place with two more days left prior to the closing ceremonies on Wednesday.

Vietnam continued to rule over the field with 104 golds, 80 silvers and 106 bronzes while Thailand remained at second overall with a haul of 84 gold, 68 silver and 83 bronze medals followed by Cambodia (63-55-99) and Indonesia (65- 57-79).

Filipino athletes can still increase their harvest with competitions in judo, weightlifting, kickboxing, wrestling, taekwondo and arnis over the next two days.


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