Zamboanga’s Jhonny Morte led the way as Team Philippines captured three gold medals along with nine silvers and two bronzes in the recent Southeast Asia and Australasian Wrestling Championships at Yishun Sports Hall in Singapore.
Morte, a bronze medalist in the 2013 SEA Games, dished out a winning performance in the men’s 61 kgs freestyle competition, where he fluidly executed several fighting stances in beating Cambodian Kang Densipeth, Thai Satid Kaewpawan and Vietnamese Ho Kang Hual en route to the gold.
Morte was eventually adjudged the “Best Scientific Wrestler” of the two-day seven-nation tourney, equivalent to the MVP plum.
Alvin Lorequito and Francis Villanueva also pulled off triumphs in the 57kg and 125kg freestyle events.
Lorequito stamped his class on four rivals to post a gold-winning 15 points against the 13 of Vietnamese Ta Hong Tuan, while Villanueva beat Singaporeans’ Augustine Ang and Hidayat Haron to win with an 8-point tally.
The Philippine team won a total of 3 gold, 9 silver and 2 bronze medals to finish behind overall champion Vietnam who triumphed in 11 events, sweeping all 5 gold medals in the female category. Australia came third with 2 golds, while the host grabbed a total of 2 Silvers and 4 Bronzes.
“We’re pretty happy with the performance considering that they (wrestlers) didn’t have any foreign training prior to this tournament and yet they produced medals,” said Wrestling Association of the Philippines secretary general Marcus Valda.
Here’s the complete list of Filipino Medalists:
1. Jhonny Morte (61kg Freestyle/ Best Wrestler)
2. Alvin Lorequito (57kg Freestyle)
3. Francis Villanueva (125kg Freestyle)
1. Noel Morada (Greco-Roman 59kg)
2. Jefferson Mantad (Greco-Roman 66kgs)
3. Smael Trazona (Greco-Roman 80kg)
4. Jason Balabal (86kg Freestyle)
5. Robertson Torres (97kg Freestyle)
6. Grace Loberanes (Female Wrestling 53kg)
7. Mary Rose Marinas (Female Wrestling 58kg)
8. Ninalyn Foy-os (Female Wrestling 55kg)
9. Efralyn Crisby (Female Wrestling 60kg)
1. Joseph Angana (65kg Freestyle)
2. Rosegyn Malabja (Female Wrestling 48kg)