The Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) underscored its grassroots development program as it staged the Buno National Wrestling Championship recently at the New Era University Gymnasium in Quezon City.
Taytay dominated the field with 13 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals while Quezon City took the runner-up honors with eight golds, six silvers and four bronzes. Ifugao placed third with five golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.
The storm-ravaged Leyte province made an impact as all seven entries earned medals in their respective event.
Eleven-year-old Ronnel Nerza won the lone gold for Leyte while silver medalist John Michael Saldaña and bronze medalists Andrea Rowella Abrea, Angela Alferez, Francisco Arca, Jessie Kiamco and Kenneth John Bais were also victorious in their matches. They all participated in the age categories for 16-and-under, of their respective events and weight divisions, in the country’s biggest and most competitive wrestling competition.
For the record, Leyte suffered thousands of fatalities and billions of pesos worth of damaged properties and infrastructure from Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name Haiyan) in November.
Displaced by the strongest and most devastating typhoon ever to hit the country, the athletes from the Leyte Sports Academy are temporarily adopted by the Philippine Sports Commission and are currently billeted and training inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila since November 20. Staying and taking care of them is their coach and team manager Christopher Javier.
The tournament has attracted more than 100 wrestlers from the various clubs in the country. It serves as scouting ground for potential recruits to the Philippine wrestling team, which went home without a gold medal in the recently concluded 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.