With vengeance in her eyes, Cagayan de Oro pride Marna Pabillore overpowered tough Vietnamese rival Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, 7-4, to clinch the gold for her teammates who lost two golds to poor officiating on the second day of karatedo competitions in the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, Laos.
Pabillore, 25, was ahead In points in the later stages of the match when her opponent was disqualified for a foul hit that cut short the bout in the kumite -55kg category which she also won in the 2007 Ratchasima SEA Games.
Pabillore, the 2006 Qatar Asian Games silver medalist, defeated Indonesian Nur Hadiyanti in the first round and stopped DK Nurleha Rahman of Brunei in the semifinals before her gold medal bout with the Vietnamese.
Earlier, Rolando Lagman bowed to crowd darling Inkhatep Saythansavanh of Laos, 1-9, in the men’s -55kg kumite while Lutche Metante lost to Jamalliah Jamaludin of Malaysia, 2-7, in the women’s +68kg kumite.
But Pabillore insists her teammates could have won more had officiating been neutral.
“We feel cheated,” the 25-year-old Pabillore said. “That’s why I worked extra hard. I wanted to win not just for myself but for my teammates as well. I was the last to compete and I know that everybody was rooting for me.
“I really gave my best for this win,” she said.
The karatedo team’s bronze medal came from Noel Espinosa in the invididual kata.