Tacurong arnisador continued their dominance in the world stage after contributing 11 golds, 9 silvers and bronzesf or the Philippines in the 16th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) Championships on July 19-21 at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex. 

Ace arnisador Bea Marie Caoile went home as the most bemedalled player with 2 golds and 2 silvers. 

Another Tacurongnon, Amey Joy Marollano, a long-time Philippine Team member, also contributed 2 golds and one bronze. 

Other medalists included the following: Brent Pauya (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronzes), Jover Paharpa (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Angel Joy Ariston (1 gold, 1 silver), Mikaila Grace Tiba (1 gold, 1 bronze), Zaira Nicca Apresto (1 gold), Chara Generoso (1 gold), Jefrey Salon (1 gold), Karyle Regine Flores (2 silvers), JC George Villaruel (1 silver), Angelo Huinda (1 silver), Chrisia Mae Pajarpa (1 bronze), and Jefrave Lander Eroy (1 bronze). 

Tacurong City fielded a total of 24 arnisadors in the competition. Grand Master Efren Apresto, who is also a member of WEKAF Board, headed and coached the delegation from Tacurong City. The other coaches were his sons, Zius Apresto and Joeffrey Apresto. 

Philippines topped the world tournament with 141 golds, 139 silvers, and 138 bronzes pulling away from other participating countries by wide margin. Team USA, the previous overall champion, placed second with 21 golds, 21 silver, and 47 bronze medals.  

Other countries competing in the tournament included South Korea, United Kingdom, Portugal, India, Switzerland, Germany, and Brazil. Before the World Arnis Championships, over 400 local athletes competed in a two-day pre-qualifying tournament on July 17-18. 

Best performers advanced to the world tournament. GM Apresto, who is also currently working with the city government of Tacurong, conveyed his team’s gratitude to Mayor Joseph George Lechonsito for the government’s support to the arnis program. Congratulating the delegates during their courtesy visit to his office on July 26, Mayor Lechonsito pledged to continuously support sports development at the grassroots. 

“Our world-class arnisadors started their craft during our Summer Sports Programs; what they have become now is a positive result of our grassroots approach”, the mayor said. (ASF, LGU Information)

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