PH team pulls away with 38 gold medalsBy Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
Team Philippines continued to defend its home turf as it built a sizable gold medal lead over the reigning champion United States after the morning competitions of the 12th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Wekaf) World Championships at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City yesterday.
According to tournament officials, the Philippines has amassed 38 gold medals, 24 silvers and 18 bronze medals. The USA is far behind in second place with nine golds, eight silvers and three bronze medals. Reunion Island is at third place with six golds, five silvers and six bronze medals.
The Filipino stickfighters were united in their mission to retake the crown as they hit as hard and as precise as they could and came up with 11 gold medals to their hefty first-day tally.
The last time the country hosted this event, they came up short to the USA, which won by a solitary gold medal.
Bringing honor to the country with their gold medals were Albert Tabo-Tabo (senior men single stick), Mhyl Francis Enero (boys 10-11 heavyweight), Christopher Cruz (boys 10-11 lightweight), Mary Trixie Lofranco (6-7 girls), Leoangelo Marquez (men’s foam stick middleweight) and Kathleen Gadgade (junior girls 9-10).
Also capturing gold medals were Frederica Doherty (boys 12-13 heavyweight), Samuel Misal (boys 12-13 lightweight), Cherry Mae Enquito (girls 12-13 lightweight), Krizel Angana (girls 12-13 heavyweight) and Bernardo Tangete (senior men single stick).
The USA added three gold medals to their tally with Rodmen Canete winning the men’s foam stick welterweight class, Valentin dela Fuente winning the men’s adult single stick event and Karl Royer emerging victorious in the men’s 50+ single stick category.
DREAM COME TRUE
Meanwhile, Hungary’s eskrima country director Ferenc “Feri” Danko expressed his excitement for the country’s upcoming hosting of the World Championships in 2014.
“It really is a dream come true for me to have the World Championships come to Hungary. We will have around 50 to 60 fighters to compete for the country’s honor,” said Danko, who only has four fighters competing in this tournament.
However, regardless of their meager numbers, he said that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves.
“It’s the Filipino way. It’s a good feeling. It’s like family and not more of a competition.”