Davao’s Tancontian bags wrestling gold

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


JUDO may have been scrapped but multi-titled martial artist Sydney Tancontian of Davao City still outshone her rivals by clinching a gold medal in girls -62 kgs. event of the recently-concluded 2013 Philippine Olympic Commitee-Philippine Sports Commission (POC-PSC) wrestling competition in Bacolod City.

Tancontian, whose main sport is judo, stunned former champion from Ifugao in just 18 seconds.

She and fellow judoka Fil-British James Halasan Ryan were the only ones who competed in wrestling for Davao City. Ryan, who went to Bacolod all the way from the United Kingdom, copped the boys -66 kgs. silver.

Tancontian's father, Paolo, said both players used their judo background and ground skills.

"Pure wrestlers ang ilang nakalaban. Wala mi mag expect nga magdaug sila kay dili man nila event. Pero determined man ang mga bata na magcompete (They played against pure wrestlers. We didn't expect them to win since wrestling is not really their event but they were determined to compete)," The elder Tancontian said.

Sydney and Ryan were double champions in the Batang Pinoy Mindanao Qualifying held at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City last year, annexing judo and wrestling golds in their respective events. But due to lack of participation in the nationals, organizers removed judo from the official roster of events in the finals.

The two athletes were coached by Ace Larida in the Batang Pinoy national championship for 15 years old and below players but they also trained under veteran American wrestling coach Herman Cruz whenever the latter visits the Holiday Gym Judo Club.

Paolo added, "Pag masaag sa gym si Coach Herman, ginatudluan niya ang mga bata (Whenever Cruz drops by, he teaches wrestling to the kids)."

He also said it's a huge feat to beat an Ifugao wrestler, saying in the vernacular, "Wrestling is their native sport. Ifugao athletes are really strong wrestlers."

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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