Reigning wushu sanda world champions Divine Wally and Arnel Mandal clinched gold medals in the 8th Sanda World Cup on Sunday held in Xi’an, China to reaffirm the Philippines’ status as world power in wushu.
Wally, a 19-year old Mapeh student at University of the Cordilleras-Baguio City, climbed to the top of the female 48-kg. podium by default over the injured Egyptian Farida Elsodany.
Mandal, 21-year old native of Iloilo City, defeated (winning two of the three rounds) Indian Uchit Sharma in the finals of the male 65-kg. event. Mandal also blasted Sharma in last year’s World Wushu Championship finals.
Hergie Bacyadan, 21, contributed a silver as she bowed to Iranian Sharhbano Mansouriyan Semiromi in the female 65-kg. category.
Incheon Asian Games veteran Francisco Solis, 26, settled for a bronze medal.
“The two gold, one silverand one bronze medal haul is the best ever showing of the country in the Sanda World Cup,” according to the statement of the Wushu Federation Philippines.
The previous best was 2-1-0 yield in 2006, when Xi’an hosted the first time this blue ribbon event where only the medalists of the World Wushu Championship the previous year qualify.
Wally and Mandal’s gold medals stand as eight and ninth mints of WFP’s campaign in the Sanda World Cup.
In the run-up to the Sanda World Cup, Wally of Sadanga, Mountain Province, copped a gold medal in the 2016 Asian Wushu Championship while Mandal and Bacyadan bagged silver and bronze.
Sanctioned by the International Wushu Federation, the World Cup attracted 72 athletes from 27 countries and regions that competed in the 18 men’s and women’s categories of sanda, a combat sport originating from Chinese kung fu that combines punching, kicking and wrestling.