The national karatedo team continued its remarkable showing in the 2016 Vietnam Open Karatedo Championship by winning five more medals – one gold, one silver and three bronzes – on Thursday at the Thanh Hoa Sport Training and Competition Center in Thanh Hoa province.
John Enrico Vasquez, a bronze medalist in the 2015 Thailand Open Karatedo Championships, dominated the cadet male kata division to give the country’s second gold medal in the tournament.
“I’m a bit nervous during my first match but I was able to overcome it. That served as a turning point to gain confidence for my next game especially in the finals. I’m happy and satisfied with my performance. It’s a great feeling fighting for our country and winning this gold medal is a huge achievement for me. This is for our country,” said Vasquez.
He defeated two Vietnam rivals – Thanh Nguyen in the semifinals (3-0) and Doc Huan Nguyen Dong in the finals (3-2).
“We are happy that our young athletes are performing well in this competition. These are the future of Philippine karatedo. We are exposing them in international competitions to further hone their skills for future big tournaments,” added Philippine Karatedo Federation Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes.
Randy Stefano Padua Jr. chipped in one silver in the individual kumite male 76 kgs. junior while Leigh Angela Cuadra (female individual kumite junior 59 kgs.), Andrei Mel Dela Cruz (male individual kumite cadet) and Angel Aguilar (female individual kumite junior -53 kgs.) delivered the additional bronzes.
So far, the Philippines has two golds, three silvers and four bronzes in the event participated by Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Macau, Laos and host Vietnam.
Jaime Enrique Villegas (male individual kata junior) bagged the first gold on the opening day while Cris Kawaen (male individual kata junior) and World Shoto Cup Karate Championships gold medalist Orencio James Delos Santos (men’s individual kata) earned silvers, and Cuadra claimed one bronze (female individual kata junior).
“We are optimistic that more medals will be coming when our other athletes compete in their respective events. I’m happy with the result of our campaign here so far,” Reyes ended.