Wushu artists hoping for return of events

Published March 4, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Agatha Wong (MB File Photo)

With vaccines against the deadly virus now available, Wushu Federation Philippines secretary-general Julian Camacho said they are hoping for various events to resume this year after the postponement of international events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camacho said the organizers were forced to postpone the 10th Asian Wushu Championships in India last year and they are waiting for an announcement on the new schedule of the event.

“Because of the lockdown caused by COVID-19, several events were called off. We’re still waiting for an update and development with the Asian Championships,” Camacho said Thursday when contacted by Manila Bulletin.

Another event that they are waiting for an announcement is the 2021 World Wushu Championships in Dallas, Texas – an event organized by the International Wushu Federation where the 78-year-old Camacho is a member of the executive board and ethics committee.

In the last world championships in Shanghai, China, the Philippines won a gold courtesy of Arnel Mandal in the 52kg men’s sanda event.

The national team also took home a silver medal with Russel Diaz in 48kg men’s sanda, and two bronze medals, Clemente Tagubara in 65kg men’s sanda and Divine Wally in 48kg women’s sanda.

Camacho said that another event they are looking forward to is the Southeast Asian Games this year in Vietnam. When the country hosted the meet in 2019, the Filipinos dominated the competition with seven gold medals, two silvers and two bronze medals.

Agatha Wong bagged two gold medals as she ruled the taijijian and taijiquan competitions, while Mandal (52kg), Tagubara (65kg), Jessie Aligaga (48kg) and Francisco Solis (56kg) won golds in their respective men’s sanda category, and Wally (48kg) won in women’s sanda.

Camacho said that they have already requested a foreign coach from China to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as athletes prepare for the SEA Games set Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 in Hanoi.

“The athletes are training but they are in different locations. Some are in Manila, while others are in the province. But we’ll ask them to return to training in Manila if the government allows us to start preparing for the SEA Games,” said Camacho, a former president of the local federation.

“We asked the PSC, we wrote them a letter already and we’re waiting for their approval for wushu to have a foreign coach. In the 2019 SEA Games we had a foreign coach and it was very crucial in our preparation and participation in the SEA Games here,” said Camacho.

“Now it’s the SEA Games year again, we hope to get a foreign coach as soon as possible to start training our athletes. We hope to follow up our very good stint in 2019 with another solid performance this year.”