Veteran wushu Filipino bet Benjie Rivera claimed his first gold medal after eight years in the 12th World Wushu Championships on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Baguio City native, a gold medal winner in Sanda World Cup, delivered a rousing performance against Vietnamese Hoang Hong Tu for the gold in the 52kg sanshou finals.
World Wushu Championship 2011 and Sanda World Cup 2012 gold medal winner Jessie Aligaga of Iloilo lost to Song Bu Er of China in the 48kg (form) championship to settle for silver.
The trio of taijiquan Daniel Parantac, John Keithley Chan, both of Baguio and Norlence Ardee Catolico of Bacolod City, added another silver.
Scoring 9.62 points, the Filipino threesome nipped Korea and Hong Kong who both turned in 9.61 points in finishing second to the Iranians (9.68) in the duilian, a choreographed set of movements executed with or without weapons.
Newcomers Jean Claude Saclag of Baguio and Evita Elise Zamora of Davao City each bagged a bronze.
Rivera is the third Filipino to win two gold medals in the world championship. Taolu artist Samson Co, now the Wushu Federation of the Philippines vice president started it in 1991 and 1993 with sanda fighter Rene Catalan duplicating his feat in 2003 and 2005.
Eighty countries took part in the championships.
JOSEF T. RAMOS