■ Ofelia C. Empian
Cordilleran wushu specialists Thornton Sayan and Jones Llabres Inso contributed bronze medals apiece for Team Philippines in the 2023 World Combat Games in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week.
Sayan, who was the first to win a medal from the national squad, bagged the bronze in the men’s taolunanquan and placed fifth in nangun with a total of 19.41 points next to Junhua Huang of Macao on second and Chang Min Liu of Taiwan on first place.
Inso contributed bronze in the men’s taolu taijiquan and taijijian next to Singapore’s Yu Xuan Tay on second and Korea’s Hyeongi An on first place.
He earlier brought home a bronze medal in the taijiquan and taijijian in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Two other wushu national athletes came home with medals each courtesy of Agatha Wong with a silver medal in the women’s taolu taijiquan and taijijian while Clemente Tabugara Jr. also contributed silver in the men’s 65-kilogram sanda event, when he went head-to-head against Egypt’s Siefeldin Elsayed, 0-2, in the finals round.
“Heartfelt congratulations to the Philippine wushu team who came with four out of four medals hauling the first multiple medals for the country,” Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino said.
Tolen tino witnessed the performance of the four athletes during the WCG slated from Oct. 20 to 30 at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh.
The WCG is an international multi-sport event featuring combat sports and martial arts. The games were founded by Sport Accord, now known as the Global Association of International Sports Federations, as a way of bringing various martial arts and combative sports to an international audience.
The WCG is also accompanied by a cultural program that reflects the ancient traditions and values of martial arts as well as their contribution to modern society. The games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee.