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Davao lass shines brightest in wushu tilt

May 24, 2009 4:56pm
MANILA, Philippines - A 16-year old lass from Davao who has been with the sport for only three years, emerged as a prized find in the two-day 2009 Wushu Federation Philippines National Championship at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Johan Alana Yaranon, a silver medalist in last year’s national open, showed remarkable improvement in becoming the tournament’s lone triple gold medalist this time.

Yaranon, a student of former national team coach Yu Zhibo, competed through pain and ruled the 13-18 female short weapon, long weapon and Chang Quan-Nan Quan events.

“I was not that optimistic I could win a gold medal because I have a hurting right knee which started to bother me last Friday. But I really trained hard and I’m happy to have won three gold medals," said Yaranon.

She idolizes Beijing Special Games gold medalist Willy Wang and hopes to realize her dream of playing for flag and country by devoting her full time to wushu.

“I’m supposed to be in my first year of college this year but I’m skipping school and will concentrate on wushu this year. Hopefully I will be a part of the national team soon," Yaranon said.

Yaranon’s teammate Lorenz Suelan pulled off a double gold performance in the 7-13 boys San Lu Qun and short weapon as the Davao delegation went on to collect six gold medals in all.

Former WFP president and now secretary-general Julian Camacho said Yaranon’s performance showed that there are a lot of talents out there that has yet to be discovered.

“That’s why despite leadership dispute, we really went all-out to stage this Open. We have to raise from our own pockets money to fund the event. And we’re very happy because aside from Yaranon, there are a lot of Filipino wushu practitioners who emerged proving that this sport is not just for Chinese practitioners," said Camacho.

WFP Baguio emerged as the overall champion with a combined 18 gold medals, striking both in the taolo (form) and sanshou (combat) events.

Kariza Kris Chan led Baguio delegation in taolo with victories in the 13-18 Tai Ji Quan and Tai Ji Jian while Michael Angelo Marcelo, Mari-Ngay Santiago, Annie Passi, Fely Segundo, Brian Kevin Salazar, Vanessa Joe Chan and Kathlene Sabalburo did their parts in their respective fields.

The delegation stamped its class in sanshou by bagging 9 of 12 mints at stake, courtesy of Zephania Ngaya, Gina Iniong, Benito Amado, Roldan Sangcha, Rey Docyugen, Remsen Alangsasb, Kevin Balingon, Johnson Kayacher and Honorio Banario.

Mark Joseph Bayon and Jerick Anthony Ramos also bagged two golds with Bayon topping the 13-18 Chang Quan-Nan quan and short weapon and Ramos winning in the 18-30 Chang Quan-Nan Quan and short weapon as Wushu Discovery finished third overall with five gold medals. –GMANews.TV
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