With a goal of coming home with at least three golds, 17 Filipino wrestlers will compete in the 6th Southeast Asian Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championships starting tomorrow in Suphanburi, Thailand.
The Philippine team fielded only three wrestlers in last year’s edition of the meet and garnered two bronze medals courtesy of Joshua Gayuchan of Ifugao Province and Alvin Lobreguito of Quezon City.
Now with a bigger team, Wrestling Association of the Philippines secretary general Karlo Sevilla said they are expecting at least three golds in the three-day event.
“This team is composed of young athletes with varying competitive levels. Some are expected to win, some are expected more to learn, but all are expected to become better athletes and individuals,” said Sevilla.
Leading the team is Gayuchan, who still campaigns in cadet division (16 to 17 years old). Also in the team is Baguio City’s Rosegyn Malabja, Minalyn Foy-os, Jerald Bosikaw and David Caoli; NEU’s Kristine Jambora, Nikkita Suarez and Brylle Magnabijon; Quezon City’s Meldion Piñon, King Bryan Guingona and Jefferson Manatad; Taytay’s Joseph Cañolas and Michael Jay Cate Sedano; Zamboanga City’s Marlou Onrubia; Makati City’s Richelle Piolo; Mandaluyong City’s Vince Palanca and Dumaguete City’s Ronil Tubog.
Sevilla said the 17 grapplers made it to the team after their strong showing in the 2013 Philippine youth wrestling championships last April 12 to 14.
Actually, 47 athletes qualified for the Thailand meet, which would have allowed the country to field two athletes per weight class, but WAP could only raise funds for the 17.