February 28, 2024

Three athletes from Baguio and Benguet will see action as part of the Philippine delegation in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 23 to Oct. 8.

Sanda player Gideon Padua will be competing in the 60-kilogram and fellow highlanders and taolu players Thornton Lou Sayan and Jones Labares Inso will join the competition as announced by the Wushu Federation of the Philippines.

ASIAN GAMES-BOUND — Three of the nine-man members of the national wushu squad who will represent the Philippines to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China are from the Cordillera, who previously saw action in other international tournaments. The Cordilleran athletes are sanda player Gideon Padua competing in the 60-kilogram category and taolu players Thornton Lou Sayan and Jones Labares Inso. — Philippine Sports Commission photo

The nine-person Philippine team will be led by 2018 Asian bronze medalist Aga-tha Wong and sanda athletes Arnel Mandal in the men’s 56-kg., Clemente Tabugara in the men’s 65-kg., and Jenifer Kilapio in the wo-men’s 65-kg.

The taolu squad led by Wong include Jhonzenth Gajo and Sandrex Gainsan.

Sayan will see action in the nandao and nangun AA, while Inso will see action in the taijiquan and taijijian AA.

Padua won a silver in the last Southeast Asian Games last May in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Team Philippines will miss, for the second time, the services of former top woman sanda player Divine Wally who, like former top taolu player Daniel Parantac, has already retired with the latter coaching younger wushu athletes.

This year’s Asian Games, called Hangzhou 2022, was supposed to be staged last year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Asian Games is the next big field of play for Filipino athletes after the Olympics and outside of the world championships.

There will be 481 events in 40 sports from 61 disciplines in the event held every four years.

Team Philippines previously sent 271 athletes to the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang in 2018 and brought home four golds, two silvers and 15 bronzes where the team finished at 19th place.