The national wushu team settled for two silver and two bronze medals in the prestigious 14th World Wushu Championships held at the Gymnastics Palace in Kazan City, Russia.
Sanda World Cup champion Arnel Mandal and World Cup silver medalist Hergie Bacyadan delivered the two silver medals in the event supported by the International Wushu Federation and participated in by more than 50 countries around the world.
Mandal, a 21-year old Iloilo City pride, suffered a 0-2 decision to Vu Minh Duoc of Vietnam in the championship round of the men’s 52 kg. division while Bacyadan also bowed in the women’s 70 kg. gold-medal match against Maryan Hashemi of Iran.
Going into the finals, Mandal outclassed Uchit Sharma of India in the first round (2:0), Aydin Yikilmaz of Turkey in the quarterfinals (2:0) and Sargis Sargsyan of Armenia in the semifinals (win by gap point).
Bacyadan earned a spot in the finals by toppling Ilaria Cipolla of Italy in the quarterfinals (technical victory) and American Danielle Newsom in the semifinals (win by gap point).
Incheon Asian Games bronze medalist Francisco Solis (men’s 56 kg.) and 2015 World Wushu champion Divine Wally (women’s 48 kg.) contributed one bronze apiece in their respective weight classes.
Solis posted victories over Hayk Gasparyan of Armenia in the first round and Hamza Fuad Yahia of Jordan in the quarterfinals before losing to Yun Ung Jin of South Korea in the semifinals.
For her part, Wally had an opening-round bye then ousted Albina Mambetova of Kyrgyzstan in the quarterfinals before yielding to Dai Shimeng of China in the Final Four.
Not as lucky were Jean Claude Saclag, Clemente Tabugara Jr. and Jessie Aligaga.
Saclag lost to South Korean Jo Sung Hyun (men’s 60 kg.), Tabugara succumbed to Russian Ali Dalgatov (men’s 65 kg.) and Aligaga fell to Chinese Yongjie Wang (men’s 48 kg.).
Powerhouse China bagged the overall title with 15 golds followed by Iran (8-1-2), Hong Kong (5-3-3), host Russia (3-2-2), South Korea (2-9-2), Vietnam (2-4-2), Malaysia (2-3-3), Macau (1-3-3) and Japan (1-2-5).
EMIL C. NOGUERA