The Philippines kicked off its campaign at the 2023 World Combat Games (WCG) on a high note on Monday, winning two silver and four bronze medals at the King Saud University Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Agatha Wong and Clemente Tabugara Jr. delivered the silver medals, while teammates Jones Llabres Inso and Thornton Quieney Lou Sayan bagged the bronze medals in wushu.
Wong, the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games champion, submitted 19.486 points to finish second in the women’s Taolu Taijiquan and Taijijian event.
Tabugara, a bronze medalist at the Hangzhou Asian Games, defeated Kazakhstan’s Abdussamat Ashirov, 2-1, in the seminal round of the men’s 65kg class. But he lost to Egypt’s Mohamed El Siefeldin Mohsen Elsayed in the final, 0-2.
Inso tallied 19.339pts to finish third behind South Korean Hyeongi An (19.493) and Singaporean Yu Xuan Tay (19.453) in the men’s Taolu Taijiquan and Taijijian event.
Sayan settled for third in the men’s Taolu Nanquan and Nangun with a total of 19.410pts.
Chinese Taipei’s Liu Chang Min won the gold medal with 19.499pts while Macau’s Huang Junhua registered 19.473pts to take the silver medal.
Wrestling produced two bronze medals coming from Fierre Afan and Maria Aisa Ratcliff.
Afan, the United World Wrestling (UWW) champion and 2023 Asian Championships double-gold medalist, scored a 3-1 victory over French Anthony Guy De Oliveria in the bronze medal round of the men’s grappling GI 71kg category.
Ratcliff, another double-gold winner in the Asian Championships, prevailed over Kazakhstan’s Botakoz Yeldoskyzy, 3-1, in the women’s grappling GI 53kg class.
“I’m very happy that we have started our WCG campaign with all of our athletes sent from Wushu and grappling getting medals. Let’s hope this continues to the other events,” Team Philippines Chef de Mission Alvin Aguilar of wrestling told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Hangzhou Asian Games ju-jitsu bronze medalist Jenna Kaila Napolis will meet Colombian Adriana in the first round of the women’s -52kg on Wednesday.
The Philippines is currently No. 10 on the medal tally board of the tournament being held for the first time in the Middle East.
China is on top with seven golds followed by Iran ( 2 golds, 3 silvers, 1 bronze), Macau, China (1-2-0). Egypt (1-1-0), Korea and Malaysia (1-0-1), and Morocco, Nepal and Chinese Taipei (1-0-0).
A total of 1,657 athletes (913 male and 744 female) from 80 countries are competing in 16 sports, namely aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, ju-jitsu, karate, Kendo, arm wrestling, kickboxing, Muaythai, sambo, savate (French boxing), sumo, taekwondo, wrestling and wushu.
Wrestling has the greatest number of entries at 288, followed by fencing (144), ju-jitsu (136), aikido (100), arm wrestling (96), karate (96), kickboxing (96), Savate (92), sambo (88), taekwondo (88), Muaythai (88), judo (84), sumo wrestling (80), wushu (80), Kendo (69) and boxing (32). (PNA)