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Wushu athletes no means to train

READY BUT NOWHERE. Where to train is a problem for the Philippine Wushu team like the taolu squad that include Baguio and La Trinidad players like from left Jones Inso, Daniel Parantac and Thornton Lou Sayan (right) seen here with the first Cordilleran to take up the gentler side of the Chinese martial arts Jearome Calica, a gold medalist in muay thai in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and daughter Jherisse Athena, an upcoming wushu taolu player. Pigeon Lobien

Despite the go signal given by the Philippine Olympics Committee for Philippine athletes to start training for the Southeast Asian Games this November in Vietnam, athletes of one of the most heralded sport has no means to start.

Wushu Federation of the Philippines – Baguio/Cordillera president Tony Candelaria said that trainings will not definitely start for his wards anytime soon with the absence of a “bubble-like” sports center here and the absence of foreign coaches, who are now back in China due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“How can our athletes start training when they have no place to train and their coaches are back home in China?” said Candelaria, known as Tsing Tong Tsai in the Philippine cinema.

Candelaria has five active athletes carrying the national colors in wushu sanda’s Divine Wally and Gideon Fred Padua and wushu taolu’s Daniel Parantac, Thornton Lou Sayan and Jones Inso, all medalists in the last SEAG.

At present, no venue is available for training in the city which was elevated to a general community quarantine this month with the Covid-19 cases apparently on the rise.

“Even the (Amateur) Muay Thai (Federation or AMTF) group has been asking to have a bubble training area at Cooyeesan, but there is no guideline yet,” admitted Paul Rillorta of the City Sports Office.

He added that only training is allowed only for professional athletes like the Team Lakay that even train at the Baguio athletic bowl every Mondays. The rest, they do it at the Team Lakay gym at Puguis in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet.

Candelaria said that his wards are ready to start to train anytime as long as there is already a go signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force allowing such. And if the foreign coaches are back in the country.

In 2019, the wushu teams flew to China in middle of the year.

The taolu side left for Fujian earlier on June, but the sanda side left a month later with the cancellation of their training at the Wuhan University in Hubei. The sanda’s original training venue was the source of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They were later sent to Chengdu. Wally saw action in the World Wushu Championships in October 19-24 prior the SEAG slated late November that year.

Wally this year welcomed a baby as her face now grace one of the walls at the Baguio athletic bowl as part of the Heroes Legends mural project where the faces of 17 other legendary athletes will be featured.

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