Divine Wally’s efforts in the 52kg sanda event during the 2018 Asian Games ended in a semifinal loss on August 22, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, that was, however, good for a bronze.
That bonze in the Wushu competitions temporarily kept the Philippines’ medal streak in the games alive and gave the country its fifth bronze, in addition to Hidilyn Diaz’s gold, to complete the Philippines’ medal haul as of that date.
The medal streak was eventually halted the next day, Thursday, as the Philippines got blanked on the podium.
The La Trinidad, Benguet native secured the bronze when she defeated Petriwi Selviah of Indonesia, 2-0, in the quarterfinals.
She earlier advanced to the quarters by virtue of a 2-0 victory over Mimi Yoysaykham of Laos in the round of 16.
Her march towards the finals was halted when she yielded to a taller and more aggressive Samiroumi Elaheh Mansoryan of Iran in the semis.
The 23-year old Wally got off to a fast start, taking the first round but she could not neutralize her six-inch deficiency in height as her 5’6” opponent connected in the next two to secure the 2-1 win.
Mansoryan, however, lost in the finals to Chinese Li Yueyao.
Mansoryan was the first female Iranian athlete to win a medal in wushu at the Asian Games when she won bronze in the -52kg category at the 2010 Games in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.
She was also a silver medalist during the 2014 Games.
The bronze medal finish of the 5’0” Wally was an improvement her fifth-place finish during the 2014 edition of the Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Wally started practicing the sport when she was 13. She is an alumnus of the University of the Cordilleras.
By: ARMANDO BOLISLIS
Banner photo: File photo shows Cordillera pride Divine Wally shows off her medals right after coming home from the 8th Sanda World Cup at Xian China on November 2016. RMC PIA-CAR