Baylon eyes comeback in judo's newest form

MANY-TIME Southeast Asian gold medalist John Baylon mulls a return to competitive judo but not in the combat side of the sport.

Baylon said that he is in the process of creating a team that will compete in the nage no kata competitions as part of his new task as head coach of the said event.

The nage no kata in judo is the counterpart of poomsae in taekwondo and kata in karate where the competitors perform choreographed moves, which are scored by a panel of judges.

Baylon hopes to form a team in time for international competitions including the 2013 Southeast Asian Games. However, if he fails to form a competitive squad, he will have no choice but field himself.

“Kung wala akong makuha, baka ako lumaro na rin ako,” said the nine-time SEA Games gold medalist.

Baylon had competed in the kata event in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.

Baylon, now 48, announced his retirement from international competitions right after his reign ended in the SEA Games in 2011 when he lost in the semifinals to a Vietnamese foe.

Aside from coaching the kata team, Baylon also runs a judo school in Pasay City and competes in jiujitsu events. He also competed in the 2012 Philippine National Games, easily winning the gold.

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