• Philippines’ 6 golds good for 5th place in Asian junior wushu

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    The Philippine national wushu squad added three more golds to its medal haul on Sunday, the final day of the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship at the Makati Coliseum.

    Noel Alabata won the 48-kg sanda finals, while Vanessa Jo Chan dominated the jianshu event of women’s Group B taolu and Johnzeth Gajo took the men’s Group C elementary gunshou to improve Philippines’ overall tally six gold, five silver and five bronze medals, good for fifth place.

    “It took me so long to beat him in the first round, so I gave all my best in the last round,” said Alabata, 17, who scored a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Vietnam’s Vu Vinh Duc in the men’s 48-kilogram sanda finals.

    Settling for silvers were Vivine Wally and Thommy Aligaga, who lost their championship bouts.

    China’s Guang Acui beat Wally, 2-0, in the women’s 48-kg bout, while Aligaga absorbed a 0-2 beating at the hands of Iranian Touphara Afshin Salimi in their 52-kg. match.

    Chan tallied a score of 9.20 points to outclass Iran’s Kiani Zahra by a narrow 9.19 in taolu’s double-edged sword routine. Zahra settled for the silver while Ota Yuko of Japan copped the bronze with 9.14.
    Gajo then added the gold in the taolu’s long staff men’s gunshou category with 8.99 points to defeat Indonesia’s Muhammad Anandito (8.97) and Kiran Bala Caleb of Malaysia (8.92), who settled for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
    “I would like to congratulate all of our gold-medal winners and our other medalists,” said Wushu Federation of the Philippines president Tan She Ling. “You have truly made our country proud by your accomplishments.”

    Indonesia (5-8-6) ended in sixth place, Vietnam (4-14-5) and Malaysia (4-3-6).

    China topped the tournament with a total of 18 gold medals, including six in the sanda competitions, plus a silver and a bronze. Hong Kong finished second (7-7-3) and Iran third (7-5-6).

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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