The national junior wrestling team made a statement in the 2015 Southeast Asian Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championships, winning 12 medals – three golds, four silvers and five bronzes – at the 80th Birthday Stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Ifugao standout Joshua Gayuchan and Baguio City bet Jason Baucas delivered the first two gold medals of the Philippines after ruling their respective weight classes in the Greco-Roman event.
Gayuchan, who earned the country’s lone silver medal in the 2014 edition held in Bangkok, ruled the boys’ 59-kilograms while Baucas, a bronze winner also in Bangkok, dominated the boys’ 66 kgs. of the tournament participated by host Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos and Brunei Darussalam.
Philippine National Games silver medalist Jossel Canolas also proved that he deserves a spot in the national squad as he secured the third gold of the team for topping the boys’ 57 kgs. freestyle category.
Winning silver medals in their events were Henry Foy-os (boys’ 54 kgs.), Michael Vijay Cater Sedano (boys’ 50 kgs.) and Maxwell Francisco Jr. (boys’ 71 kgs.) in Greco-Roman, and Runieth Decano (boys’ 61 kgs.) in freestyle.
The bronzes were from Jefferson Manatad (boys’ 70 kgs. Greco-Roman), Rosegyn Malabja (girls’ 48 kgs. freestyle), Kristine Jambora (girls’ 44 kgs. freestyle), Minalyn Foy-os (girls’ 55 kgs. freestyle) and Dani Palanca (girls’ 42 kgs. freestyle).
The junior wrestlers have surpassed the team’s one-silver and four-bronze medal showing in the 2014 edition of the tournament.
“We’re happy with their performances in this tournament. Their hard work during training paid off. It’s good that they were given the opportunity to represent our country,” said former national team member Maribel Jambora-Angana. “It’s a good exposure for them.”