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Agatha Wong confident wushu’s time will come in Olympics

/ 09:45 PM September 10, 2020
Agatha Wong Wushu 2019 SEA Games

FILE – DECEMBER 3, 2019: The Philippines’ Agatha Wong during the wushu competitions in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

MANILA, Philipp9nes–Agatha Wong, wushu’s bemedaled poster girl, said she is not losing sleep over the sport’s non-inclusion in the Summer Olympic Games.

“I just focus on the fact that I get to compete and represent the country no matter what kind of competition it is,” she said in a recent episode of the “So She Did” podcast.

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Wong, however, is a firm believer that the wait will soon come to an end.

“I know that the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) is working towards it,” she said.

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Wushu failed to make the International Olympic Committee’s final shortlist in 2015, losing to skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, karate, along with baseball and softball.

The sport’s closest brush to being an Olympic event was in 2008 when China held a tournament in Beijing with the Summer Games.

“What I have been [told] is that it’s really hard to get a new sport into the Olympics. They have to screen … they have to have a minimum number of people who know the sport, who practice the sport, and who are good with the sport,” said Wong, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and a bronze medalist in the Asian Games.

It also doesn’t help that wushu is only practiced in select parts of the globe, according to the 21-year-old taolu specialist.

“It’s mostly practiced around Asia and Europe, but not that much in Africa and Australia,” she said.

“So right now, the international federation is trying to open horizons for (the sport),” she added.

A similar predicament is shared by jiujitsu, which has produced a world champion in Meggie Ochoa.

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According to Wong, the IWUF is making its presence felt mounting more workshops, and seminars for athletes, coaches, and those “really interested in the sport.”

After all, wushu is not for everyone, and Wong herself is a walking testament to that.

“Initially, I didn’t like wushu, my grandmother just enrolled me (to a class). It was only as I grew older when I realized it’s really enjoyable,” she said.

“In wushu, there’s only a limited number of good coaches who can teach … proper stances—stuff like that,” she said. ”Anyone could teach wushu but it takes a great coach to really know what the application of each movement is.”

For now, Wong will be riding on the thrill of preparing for whatever contest comes her way.

“It’s still an honor (being able to) wear the flag on your shirt or, say, on the bag on your back, right?”

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TAGS: Asian Games, Olympics, Southeast Asian Games, Sports, Wushu
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