November 30, 2023

Emmanuel Cantores of Sablan, Benguet clinched the lone silver medal for the Philippine team that won one silver and six bronze medals in the 6th Southeast Asian Vovinam Championships in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on March 25 to 30.

Cantores bagged the silver medal in the 60-kilogram sparring category of the event participated in by 137 athletes from Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia. 

Cantores was a bronze medalist in the 60-kg. men’s low kick kickboxing in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2022.

Other members of the Philippine contingent during the Vovinam Championship who are bronze medalists in the sparring event of their respective weight classes are Aime Ramos, Jerome Alidon, and Hergie Bacyadan.

Kirstine Baguio and Janah Lavador won in the pair knife form, while Kirstine Baguio won in the ying-yang sword form, as Janah Lavador won the sixth bronze in the aspect broad sword form.

Cedric Bolneo and Jovan Medallo also settled for the fifth and seventh places in their respective categories in the form category.

The Filipino athletes are also preparing for the 2023 SEA Games set on May 5 to 17 in Cambodia. The event, where vovinam athletes competed in 30 disciplines, also acted as a preparation for the host country for the 32nd edition of the SEA Games.

Vovinam is the combination of Vietnamese traditional martial arts and wrestling and the characteristics of many international martial arts.

The sport, which just returned in the SEAG 2022 after nine years of absence, will be played in the upcoming 32nd SEA Games.

Another local athlete and professional mixed martial athlete from Team Lakay, Jenelyn Olsim, bagged the country’s first medal in vovinam after finishing bronze in the 55-kg event during the 31st SEA Games. – Ofelia C. Empian