DAVAO City's very own Jenifer Kilapio of Davao City clinched a silver medal for the Philippines at the close of the HYX 16th World Wushu Championships (WWC) on Tuesday, November 21, in Fort Worth, Texas, USA (Philippine time). This marked her inaugural medal in a world tournament after seven years with the national wushu team.
The 23-year-old Kilapio, hailing from San Antonio, Agdao, was unbeaten in two matches before setting up a titular showdown with Lan Nguyen Thi of Vietnam. The latter secured a narrow 2-1 victory for the women's sanda 48k gold.
Reflecting on her performance, Kilapio said in a Facebook Messenger interview with SunStar Davao, "I did my best pero kailangan pa ng more push para makuha ang gintong medalya (I did my best but needed more push to get the gold medal)."
The Dabawenya scored a knockout win over Chhavi Chhavi of India in the semifinals after dominating Xuezhen Liang of Macau, China, 2-0, in their quarterfinals clash.
Kilapio said, "Masaya po na na apply ko yung tinuturo sakin ng aking coach at masaya kasi may maiuuwi ako para sa ating bansa (I'm happy that I applied what my coach taught me and I'm happy because I can bring something home for our country)."
When questioned to whom she is dedicating her silver feat, she replied, "Para sa sarili ko, gusto ko kasi talagang ma-experience yung maitaas yung kamay ko na may pinaglalaban na medal at maipalabas yung skills na tinitraining ko (I'm dedicating it to myself because I truly want to experience raising my hand with a hard-earned medal, showcasing the skills I've diligently honed)."
Before competing in the world championship, Kilapio faced a setback with a deviated septum while preparing for another tournament.
She resumed training for the WWC one week after undergoing nasal reduction and had to observe a one-month rest before returning to her sport, as advised by her physician.
"I wanna thank God for the answered prayer and kay coach Lei, sa Wushu Federation Philippines sa pagtulong para ma achieve ko tong level na to at sa pagtitiwala (I wanna thank God for the answered prayer and to coach Lei, at the Wushu Federation Philippines for helping me achieve this level and for trusting me)," she added.
Meanwhile, Nell Jone Astudillo said Kilapio was part of their King's Sword Martial Arts Ministry and wushu grassroots program in Agdao. He highlighted her potential, leading to her inclusion in the King's Sword wushu Davao fight team, which was then training at the Metrolifestyle Fitness Center.
"We trained her and exposed her to local karate and wushu tournaments then to Batang Pinoy, Palarong Pambansa, until she was absorbed in the national training pool. The Wushu Federation Philippines saw her potential when they visited Davao last 2014 to scout for potential athletes and seven were selected from Davao at that time," he recalled.
In a message to Kilapio, Astudillo expressed, "As your karate dad and on behalf of the King's Sword Martial Arts, CFC church, and Abka Philippines, we say thank you and we are proud of you." MLSA