PHL wushu snares two golds at 8th Sanda World Cup

 

MANILA (The Filipino Connection)–The Philippines’ two reigning world champions in the sanda event of wushu towed the country to two gold medals at the recent Eighth Sanda World Cup held in Xi’an, China.

Arnel Mandal of the Philippines wins his gold medal match against India's Uchit Sharma to win one of two Philippine gold medals at the Eighth Sanda World Cup (photo taken from Arnel Mandal's Facebook page)

Arnel Mandal of the Philippines (right) wins his gold medal match against India’s Uchit Sharma to win one of two Philippine gold medals at the Eighth Sanda World Cup (photo taken from Arnel Mandal’s Facebook page)

Baguio City’s Divine Wally reaffirmed her world supremacy in the 48 kg. class with a gold medal. This is even if Wally’s win was by default over injured finalist Farida Elsodany.

Wally was the 2015 World Wushu Championships gold medalist in the 48 kg. class by defeating Vietnamese Luan Thi Hoang in the finals

Meanwhile, Mandal made it two in a row against India’s Uchit Sharma in the men’s 52 kg. division for his gold medal. Sharma was Mandal’s victim at the 2015 World Wushu Championships.

Wally is a 19-year-old MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health) student of the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City. Mandal, 21, is from Iloilo City.

(The matches of Wally and Mandal en route to the gold medal can be viewed here:  http://worldwushu.tv/media/RwU9q5lVxfGkSBg5fXC6SQ/sanda-world-cup-2016-session-4-finals-eng)

 

Sanda (or sanshou [sparring]) is Chinese kickboxing. At the biennial World Wushu Championships there are sanda events and taijiquan events (the latter [also called taolu or forms] being performance exhibition). But both types of wushu have their own World Cups.

The Philippines' two Sanda World Cup champs: Arnel Mandal and Divine Wally (photo courtesy of Mandal)

The Philippines’ two Sanda World Cup champs: Arnel Mandal and Divine Wally (photo courtesy of Mandal)

Wally’s World Cup feat is a follow up to her recent gold in the same weight category at the 2016 Asian Wushu Championships held in Taoyuan City, Chinese-Taipei. Her entry into the international stage started with a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games.

Mandal’s gold, for his part, is redemption since he bagged only a silver medal in Taoyuan.

Quezon City-based Hergie Bacyadan, 21, earned a silver in the 65 kg. class, bowed again to Iranian Sharhbano Mansouriyan Semiromi, 1-2. Semiromi also beat Bacyadan at the 2015 World Championships.

The fourth campaigner in the Philippine Sport Commission-backed lean-and-mean squad, Iloilo’s Francisco Solis, 26, 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist, settled for a bronze medal.

The 2-1-1 gold-silver-bronze finish was the Philippines’ best at the Sanda World Cup, said Wushu Federation of the Philippines Secretary-General Julian Camacho. The previous best medal haul was 2-1-0 in 2006 when the first Sanda World Cup was held, also in Xi’an.

Sanctioned by the International Wushu Federation, the World Cup attracted 72 athletes from 27 countries and regions that competed in the 18 men’s and women’s categories of sanda, a combat sport originating from Chinese kung fu that combines punching, kicking and wrestling.

Prior to the Sanda World Cup, Wally towed the Philippine team to a one gold, one silver and four bronze medals finish at the Asian Wushu Championships in Taoyuan City.

Wushu just recently got denied on its bid to make the sport part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

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About JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO