THE Philippine team bagged its first gold medal by topping the group taolu [forms]event in the opening day of 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship at the Makati Coliseum on Thursday.
The eight-man team secured a leading score of 9.42 from the judges by combining empty hand and weapons skills in the event organized by the Wushu Federation of the Philippines (WFP).
The members of the squad are Baguio City’s Alieson Ken Omengan, Faith Liana Andaya, Kimberly Macuha, Johnzenth Gajo, Christian Nicholas Lapitan, Vanessa Jo Chan, Joel Casem and Dave Degala.
Omengan and Andaya are veteran competitors who’ve won gold and silver medals in the previous edition of the tourney.
“It is a very good start for our boys and girls who sacrificed two-weeks of school to polish their act. I am confident they will win more honors for the country,” said WFP President Tan Shei Leng. “The members of the gold medal winning group will get incentives from our association and, hopefully from the PSC [Philippine Sports Commission].”
Powerhouse China, the birthplace of wushu, also notched a 9.42 grade to also win a gold via empty hand forms demonstration. Hong Kong finished second with 9.40.
Malaysia has three gold medals and was on top of the standings after eight taolu events on the first day of the meet. China and Hong Kong shared the second spot with two gold medals apiece while Philippines and Korea were on the third spot with one gold medal each.
The other gold medal winners were Malaysia’s Tammy Tan Hui Ling, Group C women’s elementary qiangshu [spear], Tan Cheong Min Group B women’s nandao [southern broad sword], China’s Chen Xiaoli, Group A women’s 3rd set taijiqian [supreme ultimate fist], Hong Kong’s Chan Yee Lok, Group C men’s elementary qiangshu, Mok Uen Ying Juanita Group A women’s 42 forms taijiqian, and Korea’s Yun Donghae Group B men’s nandao.