MANILA, Philippines — Pencak Silat delivered its first gold for the Philippines in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games after Edmar Tacuel topped the men’s seni tunggal event Monday noon at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.
The 20-year old from Tubongan, Iloilo impressed the judges in his first ever biennial meet stint with 470 points, edging Muhammad Iqbal Bin Abdul Rahman of Singapore who bagged the bronze with 461 points and bronze finisher Dino Bima Sulistianto who settled for 460 points.
Tacuel, sixth of seven children of a farmer and a housekeeper, couldn’t contain his emotion after adding to the country’s golden produce.
“Happy ako na nakakuha ako ng gold medal,” he said. “Pinapasalamatan ko lahat ng coaches, teammates, mga taga IloIlo, salamat sa panalanagin ninyo. sa buong Pilipinas salamat lahat sa inyo,” said a teary-eyed Tacuel.
Tacuel bared that his knowledge in arnis- his first sport since 2012- helped him to jump into pencak silat.
He became part of the national team in April this year before going straight to rigorous training in Singapore and Thailand. (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)