TAGUM CITY – Amidst the unpleasant plight of athletes in the recently concluded Batang Pinoy sports meet, Baguio City Judo representatives managed to bag 2 golds, a silver and 3 bronzes in the event held in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte last November 28-29, 2016.
The accomplishment became even sweeter when the travel delays due to bad weather conditions brought about by typhoon Marce enhanced the difficulty of bringing home the medals.
According to Sensei Ferdinand Cudao, the Cordillera Judo Association Regional Coach who headed the Judo delegation, there were eleven athletes from the YMCA-KAITAGI Judo Club who represented Baguio City in the event. Only seven of the eleven athletes, however, were allowed to play in their respective weight categories.
He added that due to their delayed arrival in Tagum City which was supposedly a day before the competition, prompted Philippine Sports Commission officials for Batang Pinoy 2016 not to consider their appeal coursed through the Philippine Judo Federation, for the rest of the athletes to play considering their plight. The delegation arrived November 29, 2016 at four in the afternoon in Tagum City.
Cudao said that the disqualification of four members of the team saddened the team as it wasted the children’s preparation in long rigid trainings. Nevertheless, it was a because of circumstances beyond their control, he said, and did not stop their teammates from harvesting medals in the remaining events.
Ezra Malanos bagged the gold medal while fighting under the 90 kilogram category. Axel Phonix Allan, who fought under the 55 Kilogram category, bested his opponents, giving team Baguio its second gold medal in the contest. River Baniwas, who fought under the 60 kilogram category fell short of time for an “ippon” and had settle for the silver medal.
The Baguio Judokas fought in the mats tired and exhausted but with high spirits to add three more bronze medals in their harvest. Johan Tomas, Forest Baniwas and Seth Pineda bagged the bronze medals in the 60 kilogram, 66 kilogram, and 90 kilogram categories, respectively.
Mindful of their plight, Sensei Cudao added that the Baguio Judo Team have shown their worth in the competition to achieve their goals in bringing home medals for the city despite all the odds, even falling short of time.
By: BOBBY VINLUAN