CEBU CITY - Alexander Lay and Gabrielle dela Rosa swept their respective events to bag two gold medals each as the youthful Filipino karatekas dominated action early in the 2nd ISKF World Shoto Cup Karate Championships at the Waterfront Hotel grand ballroom here on Saturday.
Lay and De la Rosa ruled the boys and girls 12-13 individual kata and kumite competitions to spearhead the strong showing of the local bets in the two-day meet sanctioned by the International Shotokan Karate Federation.
“Masayo po at nanalo pero may nahirapan rin,” said Lay, 12, a sophomore student of the Maria Montessori School of Quezon City, and only son of national coach David Lay. The young karateka won a gold and a bronze in the WKF World Cup held in Busan, South Korea last August.
While the kata was relatively easier, Lay said, the kumite (sparring) was tough since he needed three fights to reach the final match, beating two South Africans in the first and second round, before beating Karate Development Arts and Sports club teammate Reymel Alfonso, 2-0, for the gold.
“Nasulit po ang training namin,” said De la Rosa, a Grade 7 student of the Divine Academy in Bacoor, Cavite and a member of the ISKF-Bacoor chapter headed by instructor and ISKF first dan black belt Arcie Contado-Seleem, following her golden double.
Other Filipino gold medalists were David Ian Tubana in the 8-9 boys individual kata, Andi Tindugan (8-9 boys kumite), Urielle Joaquin (8-9 girls kata), China Fontillas (8-9 girls kumite), Geoff Millard (10-11 boys kata), Roi Lao (10-11 boys kumite), Lalor Deang (10-11 girls kata), Marione Mae Rebanal (14-15 girls kumite), Prince Zipagan (16-17 boys kumite), Francesca Lim (16-17 girls kata), and Marimar Fontillas (16-17 girls kumite).
Sharing the spotlight were Canadian Kristopher Coppin and American Christine Cornel, who captured the gold medals in the boys and girls 14-15-year-old divisions, respectively, in the event sponsored by Smart, Unilever, and Gatorade.
“The fact that all of the judges in the ISKF Shoto Cup are foreigners show that we have promising young talent in karate, and hopefully they will continue to excel more as they mature and progress in the sport,” Lay, the ISKF country director for the Philippines, noted.
The adult and senior competitions were scheduled to be held late Saturday, with Fil-Am OJ delos Santos, a member of the national team, scheduled to compete in the kumite event.