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Big wrestling plan: Leave the opposition battling for crumbs

/ 05:20 AM November 29, 2019

From one of the coldest places on the planet to the hottest competition in the country.

That’s the journey the country’s wrestling squad had to endure to accomplish a bold plan for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

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Wrestling Association of the Philippines president Alvin Aguilar told the Inquirer they will aim for all the 13 golds at stake in the meet slated Dec. 9 and 10 at Angeles University Foundation.

“The wrestlers are prepared as ever because the Philippine Sports Commission went all in for us this year,” said Aguilar. “Everyone is prepared to win gold, it all depends on their mind-set coming into the matches.”

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In a training camp that lasted three months, the country’s national wrestlers trained in the United States and in what is often tagged as the coldest city in the globe—Yakutsk in Russia—to help the Philippines carry out its plan to dominate the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“Now, we decided to pull them out and come back one month before the SEA Games to acclimatize to our hot weather,” said Aguilar.

Aguilar had his sights on an even higher number, but rued the fact that the grappling event was taken out of this year’s SEA Games. However, he was bullish about the country’s chances in greco roman and freestyle.

Among the bright lights for Team Philippines are former gold winners Margarito Angana and Jayson Balabal and Alvin Lobrequio, Johnny Morde, Ranil Tubog and Naomi Gener.

Wrestling wasn’t played in the past two editions of the SEA Games, making it difficult to gauge the foreign competition.But the Filipinos competed in the Southeast Asian Championships last year, where they came home with 35 golds.

The 14-strong team arrived at NCC Wednesday to inspect the competition arena.

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TAGS: 30th Southeast Asian Games, SEA Games 2019, wrestling
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