WUSHU aces Mark Ragay, Mark Polo and Vincent Ventura and other topnotch martial artists struck hard for the Philippines on the global stage in November.
Ragay, Polo and Ventura won gold in taolu’s men’s duallian at the 16th World Wushu Championships in Texas to lead the honor roll of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) for the penultimate month of 2023.
The trio continued wushu’s tradition as consistent producer of world champions and anchored the Philippine contingent’s one-gold, four-silver and one-bronze harvest.
Agatha Wong (taolu women’s taijijian), Arnel Mandal (sanda men’s 52 kgs), Clemente Tabugara Jr. (sanda men’s 65 kgs) and Jennifer Alipio (sanda women’s 48 kgs) delivered the silvers and Russel Diaz (sanda men’s 48 kgs) accounted for the bronze.
Not to be outdone was Hergie Bacyadan, who shone bright in the Vietnamese martial art of vovinam. Bacyadan made Philippine history with her conquest of the women’s -66 kgs class at the World Vovinam Championships in Ho Chi Minh City.
Over in Muju in Korea, Patrick King Perez won the mixed pair gold with Jocel Nibobla in the World Taekwondo Poomsae Open Challenge and the men’s team bronze with Ian Matthew Corton and Jeus Gabriel Yape.
In Yerevan, Armenia, Sydney Sy Tancontian posted a podium finish in the World Sambo Championship.
Youngsters made their presence felt, too, with Fide Master Gian Karlo Arca and jiu-jitsu prodigy Aielle Aguilar claiming world titles.
Arca, 14, clinched the mint in the World Youth Blitz Chess Championship in Montesilvano, Italy with 8.5 points in nine rounds, beating titled rivals.
Aguilar, 6, repeated as global ruler with her triumph in the Girls Kids 2 White Belt 1 7kgs category at the Abu Dhabi World Festival Jiu-jitsu Championships in the UAE.
Elsewhere, tennis sensation Alex Eala, 18, took runner up honors in the International Tennis Federation W40 Kyotec Open in Luxembourg while Erika Burgos, 21, ruled the standard women’s elite race of the Asian Duathlon Championship in Clark in a 1-2 finish with Merry Joy Trupa for the hosts.