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Battered Chinese
HANGZHOU, China — After beating Eumir Marcial in the gold medal match of the men’s 80-kilogram boxing event of the 19th Asian Games, Tanglatihan Tuohtaerbieke looked as if he just survived a rumble.

He faced the Chinese media with a lot of bruises, a huge scratch on chin, and a deep cut on the left eyebrow. For sure, he has an aching body after suffering three rounds of heavy beating from the Filipino Olympic bronze medalist.

On the contrary, Marcial looked fresh.

Marcial was smiling when he talked to Manila-based sportswriters, saying that he is respecting the decision of the judges and will just train hard for his upcoming professional fights as well as the Paris Olympics next year.

He added that Filipinos should also accept the outcome of his match no matter how painful it is. After all, the real battle is not in China — it is in Paris.
Such a class act.

Joyful tears
HANGZHOU, China — Meggie Ochoa let her tears flow freely shortly after winning the country’s second gold medal in the jiu-jitsu competition of the 19th Asian Games.

Ochoa, 33, said her road to the medal podium was littered with heartaches and difficulties as she battled anxiety, sickness and injuries just to win an Asian Games gold medal after finishing third in the previous edition in Jakarta in 2018.

In fact, until the eve of the competition, she was nursing a high fever, prompting her to take a lot of medicines just to feel better.

Fortunately for her, she competed against a familiar foe in the final of the women’s 48-kilogram event, giving her a slight advantage that led to the gold medal.

For sports fans, Ochoa’s story is a feel-good tale of determination and redemption.

But for Filipino athletes, this kind of narrative is just ordinary. This is what they are actually going through day in and day out before emerging victorious.

That is why it is understandable why Ochoa couldn’t stop crying.

Her tears of joy narrate her real story.

Bleeding hearts
HANGZHOU, China — It’s been two days and China’s heart is still bleeding from the sorry setback it suffered at the hands of Gilas Pilipinas in the semifinals of the men’s basketball competition of the 19th Asian Games.

Chinese media is still overflowing with comments and narratives about the pain and bitterness caused by the 76-77 setback suffered by the Chinese cagers to the Filipinos.

Some analysts blame the lack of chemistry and maturity of the team in the crucial stretch while others credit the setback to the “over-coaching” of Serbian mentor Sasa Djordjevic.

They couldn’t accept the fact that they were beaten by a team that trained for only 12 days with no definite lineup until the eve of its first match.

Wang Shipeng, who led China to a pair of Asian Games gold medals in 2006 in Doha and 2010 in Guangzhou, said he doesn’t care if his country wins 180 or 200 gold medals as long as they retain the men’s basketball title.

“Basketball is the final battle of all sports,” Wang said.

“If we lose this gold medal, I don’t see the point of winning so many medals.”

At press time, China has been dominating the Asian Games medal table with 181 gold, 101 silver and 56 bronze medals.

Still, fans don’t care. All they want is the basketball gold — nothing else.

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