Drought finally ends-A A +A
Saturday, July 21, 2012
THE Philippines clinched the overall championships of the 12th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Wekaf) Championship in a lopsided fashion, putting an end to its 12-year title drought.
The Philippines brought home a total of 62 gold medals and 36 silver and 36 bronze medals, dethroning defending champions USA. The USA finished in second place and settled for nine gold medals, 10 silvers and five bronzes.
The last time the Philippines was the host of the Wekaf tournament, the USA edged out the Philippines by just a single gold medal in 2008.
Aside from the numbers of the Philippine team that smothered the visiting competitors, Wekaf president Master Gerald Cañete credits the Filipinos’ rigid training camp and talented training pool of eskrimadors for the victory.
“As early as January and February they have already started preparing and they had about two months of extensive training leading up to the world championship,” he said of the Cebu delegation of the Team Philippines.
“I’m happy that our preparation and conditioning paid off.”
Reunion Island finished in third place with nine medals each in gold, silver and bronze, while New Zealand trailed at fourth with six gold medals, five silvers and two bronzes.
With the impressive performance that the country has shown this year, Cañete said he is confident the Philippines will be able to defend its crown in 2014 for the 13th instalment of the biennial competition in Hungary.
“We will continue our programs. We have young but good and competitive players. Two years from now, hopefully we will be able to bring our players to Hungary. We hope to get the same support from Cebu, Mandaue and the Province. No doubt we will win with this pool of talent.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2012.