KUALA LUMPUR - Benjie Rivera emerged as the lone Filipino to win a gold medal in the 12th World Wushu Championships here.
The wily Rivera, also a Sanda World Cup gold winner, beat out Hoang Hong Tu of Vietnam in the 52 kg. finals.
“It was like in 2005. I am very comfortable with my weight as if I did not grow older,” said Rivera, who also won the gold in the same weight class eight years ago.
Rivera, a native of Baguio City, went up in weight (56kg) and only settled for a pair of bronze in two previous campaigns, including the 2011 edition of the meet.
He became the third Filipino to win two gold medals in the world meet after taolu artist Samson Co (now vice president of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines) in 1991 and 93, and sanda fighter Rene Catalan in 2003 and 05.
Significantly, the gold medal was the 100th overall which the Philippine wushu team won in major international tournaments.
“It is with pride that I announce the WFP has gotten its 100th gold medal in major international competitions, 14 of these golds were won in the World Wushu Championships since 1991,” declared WFP president Tan She Ling.
“I am happy with the performance of the team, especially after it achieved the milestone we have been looking forward to.”
Jessie Aligaga, gold medal winner in the event two years ago, failed to retain his 48 kg. title after losing to Song Bu Er of China.
The trio of Daniel Parantac, John Keithley Chan, and Norlence Ardee Catolico added a silver medal to the Filipinos’ cause after scoring 9.62 points in the duilian – choreographed set of movements executed with or without weapons.
Iran won the gold with a score of 9.68
Newcomers Jean Claude Saclag and Elise Zamora won a bronze each to add to the country’s medal tally of 1 gold, 2 silvers, and 3 bronzes.
The team’s campaign was supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.