KUALA LUMPUR -- Quietly sobbing in one corner inside the Philippine tent at the end of the 29th Southeast Asian Games compound archery competitions on Friday was Amaya Paz-Cojuangco.
A two-time SEA Games champion, Paz-Cojuangco was visibly disappointed after she failed to bring home a medal in the regional sports showcase for the first time in four outings since making her debut in the 2005 Philippine Games.
Gunning for a third gold in her forte in Singapore two years ago, she left the Games frustrated after her bow malfunctioned in the finals and settled for silver.
But there was no redemption here for the female hawkeye as she failed to even get past the first round in the women’s individual compound event.
Her last chance for a medal was her partnership in the mixed team compound with Paul Marton dela Cruz, who salvaged a bronze in men’s individual compound earlier.
Seeded first after topping the eliminations, the Dela Cruz-Cojuangco tandem started strong, dispatching the Laotian team of Kankeo Phone and Saidara Dalya, 156-150, in the quarterfinals.
They seemed poised to reach the finals as they led Myanmar’s Aung Ngean and Ye Min Swe in the middle of their semifinal match, only to see the Burmese archers rally and tie them at the end of the series at 154-all.
In shoot-off, both pairs would shoot one arrow each alternately with their tallies combined to decide the winner.
Cojuangco and Aung both shot 8s, leaving it to their male teammates in determining the result and which squad would advance to the finals.
Dela Cruz shot a 10 and so did Ye, who, however, had his arrow closer to the bulls-eye, earning his squad a crack for the gold.
There would be no consolation prize for the Pinoy partners, who wound up losing to the Vietnamese squad of Chau Kieu Oanh and Tieng Cuong Nguyen, 156-159, in the duel for the bronze.
“Walang istorya kasi natalo. Sorry po,” said Cojuangco glumly, fearful that she might be dropped from the national team for going home empty-handed.
Reminded that the next SEA Games would be back in Philippines two years from now, Cojuangco’s face lighted up before breaking into a smile.
“Wait until we come back to Manila.”