PH’s Balangui wins silver in Universiade

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Jomar Balangui (far left) poses for a photo with gold medalist Yuan Peng of China, and bronze winners South Korean Byeon Seongi and American Isiah Ray Enriquez.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

University of Baguio standout Jomar Balangui won a silver medal in the men’s sanda 52-kg. division of the prestigious 2017 Summer World University Games wushu competition held at the Hsinchu County Gymnasium in New Taipei Cty, Taiwan.

The 19-year old Balangui suffered a 0-2 loss (0-5, 0-5) to his much-older Chinese foe Yuan Peng in the gold-medal match.

“I did my best. Still, I’m happy with my performance. Winning silver in a world-level competition is such a huge achievement not only for me but for our country as well,” he stressed.

Balangui advanced to the finals by crushing American Isiah Ray Enriquez in the semifinals (2-0) while Yuan also scored a 2-0 decision against Byeon Seongi of South Korea in the other semifinals bout.

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Balangui and Yuan drew opening-round byes in the six-man field.

“I would like to congratulate Balangui and the rest of the 130-strong Filipino delegation in 13 sports for “bringing honors to the country during the Taipei Universiade. It really makes us proud to be a Filipino watching our flag being hoisted during the award ceremony along with China, Korea and the US,” said Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong.

The Philippines finally barged into the medal tally of this year’s edition with one silver, good for 53rd place in the biennial meet participated by more than 10,000 athletes from 180 countries.

Powerhouse Japan topped the medal board with 37 gold, 27 silver and 37 bronze medals followed by South Korea with 30-22-30, host Taiwan with 26-34-30, Russia with 25-31-38, the United States with 16-19-16, Ukraine with 12-11-13, North Korea with 12-5-6, 2019 Universiade host Italy with 9-6-17, China with 9-6-2 and Iran with 8-4-11.

Balangui will be joining the elite list of Filipino athletes that won medals in the Universiade.

In 2011 held in Shenzhen, China, Samuel Thomas Morrison also earned silver in taekwondo competition while Grandmaster Wesley So bagged the country’s first-ever gold medal when he ruled the standard chess event in the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

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