AGATHA Chrystenzen Wong captured the country’s second gold medal while Dave Degala added a silver late Thursday night to prop up the Philippine campaign in the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championships at the Makati Coliseum.
Wong was the surprise of the night, displaying exquisite grace and precision in scoring 9.31 points to rule the 15-and-under women’s 32 form taijijian (bare hands) of the taolu (form) competitions.
The 15-year-old charmer easily beat Vietnam’s Tran Kieu Trang (9.21) and South Korea’s Choi Yu Jeong (9.20), who took the silver and bronze, respectively, in the four-day meet backed by the PSC, POC, Department of Tourism, PCSO, Standard Insurance, and the Taguig City government.
“This victory means a lot because it is my first gold medal in an international competition,” said Wong, who saw action in last year’s world juniors tournament held in Macau where she finished eighth in the same event.
The College of Holy Spirit high school senior will be gunning for her second gold in the 24 forms taijijian.
Also a veteran of the Macau world juniors, Degala took runner-up honors in the 18-and-under second set changquan (long fist) with a score of 8.88 points behind Macau’s Lee Hoi-tan, who topped the event with an 8.92 tally. Kazahktan’s Adlet Tolebi (8.52) settled for the bronze.
Wong and Degala’s feats softened the impact of the setback suffered by Macau world junior champion Ken Alieson Omengan, who was relegated to eighth place in the 18-and-under men’s nangun (southern fist) with 9.33 points.
Iran’s Mohammadrez Azizkhani bagged the gold (9.40), narrowly beating Hong Kong’s La Tsz-wing (9.39). Vietnam’s Cao Khac Dat (9.38) settled for the bronze.
“Mas matatanda sila sa akin kaya mas polished ang performance nila,” rued Omengan, 15, who was competing in the age division for the first time.
After a fruitful opening day that included a gold in the eight-man exhibition, the Filipino bets came up empty-handed in six of the morning events held in taolu Friday.
The best performance came from Degala, who briefly held the lead in the 18-and-under men’s second set gunshu (stick) but slipped to fourth place with 9.33 points in the event won by Betto Hibiki (9.35), who bagged his second gold after winning the 18-under men’s third set changquan last Thursday.
After the 23 events disputed in taolu, powerhouse China, as expected, emerged as the frontrunner in the overall medal tally with four golds, counting Wang Yawen’s victory in the 15-and-under women’s first set changquan Friday, and one silver after Macau (3-2-1) was second, Malaysia (3-1-4) third, while the Philippines was in seventh place (2-1-0).