BAGUIO CITY – The Philippine wushu sanda team arrived Monday after a four-medal haul in the World Wushu Championships (WWC) in Shanghai, China last October 19-24 to ready the squad in the country's hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).
Veteran Divine Wally, who delivered a bronze medal in the 48-kilogram division of the combat side (sanda) of the Chinese martial arts in the world championship, comes home hoping for better performance in the SEAG after her loss in the semifinals of the WWC last October 23, to bring home the third place.
“Tuloy pa rin, no time pa sa pag-uwi (trainings continue, there is no time to go home [to Baguio]),” Wally told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) through Facebook message on Sunday.
“Pagkatapos na po siguro ng competitions (It will be after the competitions),” added the former world champion, referring to their SEAG competition from December 1-3 in Manila.
Wally vowed to play better especially that she fell to eventual winner Nguyen Thi Chinh in the semifinals with the Vietnamese as another possible opponent in the SEAG.
In her bid for the Worlds, Wally finished in a tie with Turkey’s Hayriye Turksoy who lost to Egypt’s Yasmin Salim in the other semifinals. Salim went on to lose to Nguyen in the final round.
Wally is unsure if Nguyen will be fielded by Vietnam in the SEAG to be held in Manila.
Meanwhile, the taolu (form) team has already arrived in the country on October 29 and are now continuing their preparations for the SEAG.
The teams -- taolu and sanda, have just concluded a four-month training in Chengdu, China in preparation for the SEAG. They proceeded to the world championship while on training for the SEAG.
Daniel Parantac, the most senior member of the two Philippine Wushu teams said in an interview over a television network that they need to train for at least two weeks at the Philippine International Convention Center, prior to the fight to get a feel of the venue.
While he failed to bring home a medal in the WWC, Parantac is a potential medal hauler in the upcoming SEAG. Parantac won gold medals in taolu during the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games then finished fourth in 2017.
He added that they must make the most out of the “home field advantage”.
The Philippines will field 13 athletes in wushu, which offers 16 gold medals in sanda and taolu events.
Team taolu includes reigning SEAG champion Agatha Wong, Johnzenth Gajo, Jones Inso and Thornton Sayan. Inso and Sayan, like Parantac are Cordillerans.
The wushu sanda members are Jessie Aligaga, Carlos Baylon Jr., Jenifer Kilapio, Arnel Mandal, Francisco Solis, Clemente Tabugara Jr., and Wally’s fellow Cordilleran, Gideon Padua. (PNA)