Wrestling coach Tina Vergara unretires to win gold at SEA Games

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) – Forty-four-year-old Philippine wrestling team coach Maria Cristina Vergara proved on Monday that age is just a number when she came out of retirement to win a gold medal at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, her third in the biennial meet.

She bested 19-year-old hometown bet Sambath Vanak and Laotian Sopha Thammavong, the silver and bronze medalists, respectively, to take home the top prize in the women’s under 65 kilogram freestyle wrestling tournament.

Vergara previously took home gold in the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam and the 2005 SEA Games in Manila.

Her win marked the Philippines’ 48th gold medal in the Cambodia games.

Fellow veteran wrestler Jason Balabal delivered the Philippines' first gold medal in the sport on Sunday after dominating the men's under 97kg Greco-Roman wrestling event.