THE wushu national team led by World Cup gold medal winners Jessie Aligaga and Dembert Arcita, is eyeing a six-month training in China as part of its preparation for the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar next year.
If plans don’t miscarry, the nationals will be departing for the mainland this December and stay there until June of 2013 together with members of the junior squad.
That meant spending both Christmas and New Year away from their respective families and training together under the cold Chinese weather.
“Ganun po talaga, kailangang mag-sakripisyo lalo na para sa bayan,” said Aligaga, who recently won the gold in the 48kg class of the Wushu Sanda World Cup in Wyuishan, China.
Aligaga, 28, and Arcita, 27, both from Iloilo, were guests in Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Arcita, winner of the 52kg gold in the same world tournament, said the Chinese training should serve members of the national team in good stead as they try to surpass the two gold medals the sports delivered in the 26th edition of the biennial meet in Indonesia last year.
Arcita settled for the bronze in his weight class during the 2011 SEA Games, while Aligaga failed to compete after organizers scrapped the 48kg class.
The two world champions said the China training is also the first bold step in the Wushu Federatation of the Philippines’ bid to become the best in the sport.
“We were just told last night na `yung next goal namin is talunin `yung China, kasi sila naman talaga ang considered na power sa wushu,” said Arcita, who was accompanied in the session presented by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, and Shakey’s by wushu official Red Dumuk.
Aligaga agreed, adding, “sa China ang dami nilang members ng national team, puwera pa `yung sa mga clubs lang. Kaya ang training and sparring nila, iba-iba lagi.”
Arcita and Aligaga both defeated Vietnamese opponents in the gold-medal round of the World Cup, a tournament where only the top four medalists in the World Wushu Championships are invited to participate.