The national karatedo team won 21 medals – two gold, six silver and 13 bronze – in the 2017 Thailand Open Karatedo Championship held at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Promising karateka Jaime Villegas delivered the first gold medal when he ruled the individual kata junior male category then veteran campaigner Jayson Maacalay followed suit by claiming the top honors in the kumite -60 male category of the tournament participated in by 18 countries from different parts of the region.
“It was a great performance. A lot of teams have participated in the tournament and we’re happy that we were able to win more than 20 medals,” said Philippine Karatedo Federation Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes.
Winning silver medals in their respective events were David Tubana (cadet kumite -52), Brian De Jesus (cadet kumite -57), John Aori Sevillo (cadet kumite +70), Gabriel Villaluz (junior kumite -55), Bea Balungaya (junior kumite +56) and Mae Soriano (senior kumite -55).
The bronze medals were from Nathan Tyrel Lim (12 to 13 kumite), Thomas Jared Lim (10 to 11 kata), Carl Karvin Mayugba (8 to 9 kata), James Delo Santos (male kata), Anton Batungbacal (cadet kata and cadet -70), Michael Joseph Farmer (cadet +70), Emanuel John Navarro (cadet -70), Sharief Afif (kumite -84), Christian Queeco (kumite -84), Bryan Fontillas (kumite +84), Kimverly Alcaraz Madrona (kumite -55) and Tubana (cadet kata).
“The Thailand Open was a tough tournament. I always tell myself to go for gold. In the end though, I snatched the bronze medal for my country. Despite that, I am still very happy with my result,” said Afif.
Recently, the Association of Advancement of Karatedo bagged 11 gold, four silver and four bronze medals to claim the overall championship crown in the 9th Kota Kinabalu Karate International Open held in Sabah, Malaysia.
EMIL C. NOGUERA