THE Philippine wushu team hopes to carry over its success in the international stage to next year’s Southeast Asian Games on home turf.
Veterans Agatha Wong and Daniel Parantac came home victorious from the 1st Asian Traditional Wushu Championship by bagging three of the seven gold medals the country won in the Nov. 26 to Dec. 1 tournament in Nanjing, China
Both are looking to duplicate their acts when the country hosts the SEA Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 of 2019 despite the expected pressure weighing on their shoulders.
“Mas focused kami sa SEA Games dahil this is a major event since dito ito gagawin,” said Parantac.
“I’m going to compete as much as I can to give pride and honor to the country,” added the 20-year-old Wong, who continues to represent the Philippines in international meet despite having to endure tendinitis and a Grade 2 slipped disc.
The two joined their national teammates Johnzenth Gajo, Jones Llabre, Sandrex Gainzan, and Dave Degala in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at Farmers Plaza in Cubao.
Wong won the two golds in taijijian and taijiquan, while Parantac won one in Taijijian along with Llabare and Thornton Quieney Lou Sayan, with Gajo accounting for two more in changquan and daoshu. Degala and Gainzan each won a bronze medal.
Although all of them welcome the presence of crowd support in the SEA Games, Wong and Parantac said it could also add pressure in the team’s bid to make up for the one gold medal the Filipinos won in the 2017 edition of the meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“The factor of support system is good, pero during performance, I try to set it aside and focus on my form,” said Wong, who accounted for a bronze medal in the last Asian Games in Indonesia, during the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
“I tried not to think about it. It’s good din naman to have a support system, but sometimes that support system can distract you. So it depends on how you adjust to it.”
Added the 28-year-old Parantac, “Yung pressure madadagdagan. Siyempre nag-e-expect mga tao na mananalo ka. So we have to combat that feeling.”
The team considers Vietnam Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar as the teams expected to give the host a run for its money during the SEA Games.
“Yung mga yan ang malakas especially sa taolu (form),” said Parantac. “But when it comes to sanda (combat) no. 1 and 2 and Vietnam and Philippines.”