National wrestler Jason Balabal is more than halfway from earning the coveted SEAL badge from the Philippine Navy.
Just last week, Balabal, a former Southeast Asian Games champion, finally hurdle another obstacle, making him just two courses short of becoming a member of the super elite squad of the Naval Special Operations Group.
So far, Balabal has done hydro-recon, scuba, demolition and land warfare and just needs to clear airborne and weaponry for the Navy to finally award him the badge.
A member of Class 81, Balabal is also attempting to add another stripe by completing a one-mile swim and 3,000 push-ups.
The SEALs tryout is actually doing Balabal good.
As sports remain on hold owing to the pandemic, Balabal is taking advantage of the available time by toughening up and is crediting Capt. Dwight Steven Dulnoan (GSC) for the solid support.
“Dito muna ako sa base habang wala pang instructions to report (for training),” said Balabal, who served as the country’s flag-carrier during the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games.
In the last SEAG in Manila, Balabal settled for the silver in 87 kilogram of Greco-Roman.
In a recent affair at Sangley Point in Cavite City, the Ifugao-bred Balabal rubbed elbows with a couple of celebrities who have been warmly welcomed as new recruits of the Navy: world boxing champion Jerwin Ancajas and actor Rocco Nacino.
Both Ancajas and Nacino belong to a batch lower than Balabal but are both determined to prove their true worth.