Pressing hard for a better performance this time around, eight wushu taolu artists and two sanda players from the Summer Capital start SEA Games trainings this early.
Led by Asian Games silver medalists Daniel Parantac and Jean Claude Saclag and three newbies, the squad is now under heavy preparations for the earlier staging of the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Singapore to be held in June.
The eight local taolu players went to Manila Wednesday to start their six month trainings hoping to bring medals back home even as the two sanda players also took their own trips to the Big City.
Parantac hopes to retain the gold in the taijijian and taijiquan event even as he also aims to improve his silver medal finish in duilian.
The duilian trio also include John Keithley Chan, the first Cordilleran to win the gold in the 2010 World Junior Wushu Championship, the first Cordilleran to do so. The two won a silver in the 2011 SEA Games with Manila-based Ardee Catolico, who complete the duilain triad.
Natasha Laxamana and Kariza Kris Chan have also packed their bags earlier and made the Manila journey as they also prepare in women’s duilian where they won bronze medals in the 2011 and 2013 editions.
“Pero hindi pa sure kung may individual events po kami,” said the 20-year old Tourism student from the University of the Cordilleras Laxamana, who will again spend time away from her family and studies to train for the national flag. They are also expected to train further in China to improve their skills as they also prepare for the World Wushu Championship slated later this year.
Laxamana and the 22-year old Chan, the latter graduating in 2012 in her information technology studies at UC as cum laude, first saw action in the 2011 Worlds with Kayce Sabulbero where they finished fifth among 13 participants. The trio went to win the bronze in the SEAG later that year.
Making his return to the SEAG is Thornton Quinley Lou Sayan who was cut from the 2013 Phl squad after the 2011 disaster where he was expected to bring home a medal if not for a last routine miscue.
Sayan, a 22-year-old BS Computer Engineering student from UC where he also serves as wushu taolu coach, was about to wrap up his routine when his sword got tangled with his fuzhuang (taolu uniform) that cost him precious points preventing him to get a medal.
Making his debut is 2012 World Junior Wushu Championship gold medalist Alieson Ken Omengan. The 2013 Asian Junior Wushu Championship double gold medalist is expected to see action in nandao in his first attempt to win in the seniors side. The 16-year-old mining engineering student from Saint Louis University won a gold in the ASEAN School Group championship in December last year.
The youngest, Joel Casem makes his splash in the international scene in the senior side at only 15. Despite his problems in training schedules, like Omengan, the Lubas National High School junior hopes to repeat a golden performance from the ASG. He also won a gold in the team event in the 2013 Asian Juniors.
Spencer Bahod completes the eight-member cast from Baguio and Benguet.
The Bahong, La Trinidad, Benguet resident currently studying at SLU is expected to have tougher training now as a full pledge member of the national squad. Bahod debutted in the ASG December last year as he hopes to make a fine showing in the bigger field this time.
Education major Saclag also hopes to improve his bronze showing in the last SEA Games which was a repeat of his bronze performance in the world stage that same year which was also his first time appearance.
Divine Wally, who won a silver in the Asian Juniors in 2013, left earlier for Manila to resume her training. She actually spent a full semester at UC last year after months of training in Manila.
All 10 are expected to go to China next month to train further for the SEA Games schedule and looks forward to the World Wushu Championship which for the first time is slated later than the SEA Games.
Source : Roderick Osis, Sunstar.com.ph