Heartbreak kid no more

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

SUBIC, Philippines – After a string of heartbreaks, Hermie Macaranas finally savored a first gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games with a thrilling win in the men’s singles 200-meter canoe race yesterday at the Malawaan Park here.

On his fourth SEAG, the 24-year-old canoeist nailed the elusive gold after paddling the short distance race in 43.60 seconds.

Macaranas crossed the finish line just a fraction of a second faster than Hlaing Win Myo (43.75) of Myanmar who settled for the silver medal. Anh Duc Duong pocketed the bronze at 44.3 seconds.

“I’m speechless. I still could not find the words to describe the feeling of a gold medalist at last. It’s surreal, it’s unbelievable,” said the Pangasinan-native who only had three bronze medals in his first three biennial meet campaigns.

Sculling on a familiar route before a roaring crowd, Macaranas got over the hump after also enduring a tough silver-medal and DQ finish in his first two events the other day.

“It’s a historic win not only for me but for the Philippines. I’m just glad right now to contribute to our country’s cause,” he added.

Macaranas first bagged a silver in the canoe-kayak opener last Thursday, finishing behind an eventual winner from Thailand in the men’s singles 1000-meter race.

Macaranas then teamed up with Reymart Nevado in the men’s doubles 1000-m event on the same day but they accidentally stumbled midway through the airtight contest to kiss their hopes goodbye after a strong start.

Partnering with Ojay Fuentes this time, Macaranas made up for the mishap as they copped another silver medal for the hosts in the men’s doubles 200-meter race.

The Nationals timed 41.08 seconds behind champion Mehue Spens Stuber and Marjuki Marjuki of Indonesia (40.33) as Vietnam’s Quoc Toan Nguyen and Ngoc Sang Phan (41.30) claimed the bronze.

In total, Team Philippines racked up a decent one-gold, two-silver campaign at the end of the two-day canoe-kayak competitions here.

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