Four Baguio athletes, two of them gold medalists in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila will start their respective bids in the 16th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation World Arnis Championship at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex in Mandaue City tomorrow, July 19.
Elmer Manlapas and Abegail Abad will be starting their bid in the combat side of the Philippine sport that will wrap up on July 22 and the awarding on Saturday, the 23rd.
Coach Ruth Ann Lavarias said the Baguio team is also composed of Don Lee Aliga and Billy Joel Valenzuela, who won a silver in the 30th edition of the biennial meet for the 11 SEA nations.
“And me, (who is also a) national technical official,” said Lavarias.
Lavarias said that the four person Baguio squad joined in two events and competed during Sunday’s pre-qualification events but they will play directly in the full contact competitions starting tomorrow, while they will also compete in the team anyo.
Last Sunday, Donlee Aliga scored 29 points to top the sayaw for 18-39 years old male, 0.2 points clear off Walter Sam of 340 Iligan City Arnis Team and another 0.2 points off Christian Dungog 240 Cubacub Martial Arts Club.
Valenzuela, meanwhile, landed ninth after scoring 27.7 points.
Some 400 arnisadors from 12 countries are joining the event which was last staged in Hawaii, USA in 2018. The 2020 edition was scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event was last staged by the Philippine EKAF last 2016.
Among the countries competing are the United States, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, India, Iran, Korea, Switzerland and Cambodia.
Manlapas and Abad failed to defend their crowns after the event was scrapped in the 31st SEAG held in Hanoi, Vietnam last May. Pigeon Lobien