WiTH A background in the discipline of wushu, some of the top local Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) stars are throwing their support behind the Philippine team competing in wushu at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon, and Rene Catalan, athletes who came from wushu and are now making waves in MMA, believe that the Filipinos’ wushu game is topnotch and is a good source of medals for the Philippines in international competitions.
At the Asian Games currently ongoing until Aug. 23 in Jakarta, the Philippine team is competing in the various wushu categories, hoping to improve on its 0-2-1 gold-silver-bronze medal performance in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
It is something that Mr. Folayang, a former ONE Championship lightweight champion, said very likely to happen considering how the Philippines has established itself as a force to contend with in the sport.
“The chances to bring home medals are high. The country has already established an impressive track record in wushu. We have been competing in the sport since 1990. I am confident that they will be able to hoist the country’s flag aloft on the Asian Games stage,” said Mr. Folayang, a gold medallist in wushu in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.
Mr. Folayang has also earned two gold medals at the same event in the 2003 and 2005 SEA Games, a silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, and bronze medals at the 2002 Busan Asian Games and the 2005 World Wushu Championships.
Mr. Catalan, also competing in ONE Championship now, said the Philippines should not be counted out in wushu for anything can happen.
“We cannot say or calculate. Once they are on the wushu stage, anything can happen. Like in mixed martial arts, Wushu is a game of chance, wherein everyone has a chance and deserves a chance. We have done it before. I believe we can do it again,” said Mr. Catalan, who bagged the gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
In the ongoing Jakarta Palembang Games, the Philippines has eight representatives in the wushu category in the disciplines of Taolu and Sanda.
Taolu involves martial art patterns, acrobatic movements, and techniques for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules, while Sanda is a full-contact sport that appears much like kickboxing bouts.
Daniel Parantac seeks to capture the gold medal for the Philippines in the Asiad, competing in the men’s Taolu contest.
Mr. Parantac, who brought home silver at the aforementioned continental multi-sport spectacle four years ago, will be joined by Jones Llabres Inso, Thorton Quieney Lou Sayan, and Agatha Chrystenzen Wong.
Meanwhile, Jean Claude Saclag will lead the Philippine’s Sanda national squad along with Francisco Solis, Clemente Tabugara Jr. and Divine Wally. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo