Donlee Aliga is the Team Baguio’s golden boy as he earned the city’s first gold medal even beating 2019 Southeast Asian Games darling boy Crisamuel Manuel on top of a silver medal after two days in the 16th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation World Arnis Championship at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex in Mandaue City.
Aliga scored 28.8 points in sayaw 18-39 years old male single stick musical to beat Samuel who came home with 28.7 points and who is also 0.1 better than American Cerbas as they got the gold-silver-bronze in that order.
Elmer Manlapas, winner of a gold medal in the 2019 SEAG, settled for the bronze in saya 18-39 years male double stick musical after scoring 28.6 points, just 0.2 off winner Roel John Segaraa and another 0.1 off Kurt John Cristolbal for a 1-2-3 finish for the Filipinos.
With their wins, the Philippines is a run-away in the ladderboard with 47 golds, 46 silver and 49 bronze medal.
The Americans are on third spot with 3-2-13 medal haul and South Korea and the United Kingdon are third spots with a gold medal each.
Abad and Billy Joel Valenzuela, winners of a gold and silver in the 2019 SEAG, are yet to debut with the former, winner of a gold medal in the 2019 SEAG will debut in the padded point 18+years female 59.1 – 78 kg. and the 2019 silver medalist Valenzuela in padded point 18+ years male 64.1 – 69 kilogram, respectively.
Coach Ruth Ann Lavarias said she will also double as an officiator as member national technical official.
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 Vietnam did not include the sport in in the recent 31st SEAG held in Hanoi, Vietnam last May. Pigeon Lobien