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RP's wushu champ Willy Wang retires

Team Philippines has lost a dependable medal producer in international tournaments as Beijing Olympics special wushu event champion Willy Wang retired from active competition. Wang, 27, decided to call it quits in order to spend more time with his family and business, according to Wushu Federation Philippines (WFP) president Julian Camacho. “I actually tried to persuade him (Wang) to compete until the 2010 Asian Games but he declined. And we respect his decision," said Camacho.
An expert in nanquan (southern fist) and taolo (form), Wang was the star of the RP wushu team, bringing honor to the country with gold medals in the 9th World Wushu Championships in 1997, the 7th Asian wushu tilt last year and the Southeast Asian Game in 2005 in Manila and 2007 in Thailand. But what made Wang truly shine was his title romp in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Special Event in China, which virtually cushioned the forgettable performance of the RP team in the regular Olympiad. Wang’s victory made him only the second Filipino athlete to win a gold medal in a special event in an Olympics after Arianne Cerdena nailed a mint in the demonstration sport of bowling in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The departure of Wang would hurt the country’s chances in taolo but Camacho maintained that would only be temporary since there are a number of junior players with the potential to fill in his big shoes. “We have juniors players who given the right exposures can become our future world champions. Just give us time to develop them," Camacho said. He mentioned young female wushu artists like Mary Stephanie and Mary Evangeline Agbay as some of the names to watch out for in taolo. The 17-year-old Stephanie and 16-year-old Mary Evangeline won the gold medals in the taichi and nanquan events during the 1st Wushu Taolo Championships in China in 2007. “We also excel in sanshou (sparring) with Marianne Mariano, Jennifer Lagilad, Mary Jane Estimar, Mark Eddiva and Benjie Rivera having proven their worth. So I still believe we can continue delivering gold medals for the country," Camacho sdaid. The Wang-less wushu team delivered a gold, two silver and a bronze medal in the last Asian Martial Arts Games in Thailand and would next see action in the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, World Wushu Championships in Toronto, Canada and the 25th SEA Games in Laos. - GMANews.TV