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China's wushu disciples on course for gold sweep

GUANGZHOUI – Wushu, a martial art developed in the inner secret confines of Buddhist temples 500 years ago, paraded its modern disciples who snared every gold medal at stake in both combat (sanshou) and bare hands (taijiquan) events so far completed in the Asian Games.

Even the likes of “Ultimate Fighting Challenge” mixed martial arts champions Mark Ediva and Edward Folayang, who have the guts and raw power to match up with the Chinese, simply lacked the skills to win the gold.

The most the Filipinos could muster was a semifinal stint good for the bronze, courtesy of Ediva in the 65kg event. Two other sanshou bets – Folayang and Benjie Guevarra – and woman entry Mary Jane Estimar departed much earlier.

The best performer from Southeast Asia is Vietnam, which, at press time was ranged against China in the evening match.

Ediva, gold medalist in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games and fifth in the 2007 world championships, crushed Ishan Abeyrathna of Sri Lanka in the Round of 16.

He also subdued Kerighj Aghael of Iran in the quarterfinal to reach the semifinal round where he lost to China’s Zhang Junyong, 2-0, to settle for the team’s first bronze medal in wushu.

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Zhang advanced to the gold medal round against Vietnamese Nguyen Van Tuan.

Folayang, the 2006 Doha Asian Games silver medalist who became a successful mixed martial artist, fell to current world champion Zhang Yong of China and crashed out of the 70kg class.

The 27-year-old Zhang, the under 65 kg World and East Asia champion before he advanced to a higher division, outpointed Folayang, 2-0, in the round of 16 at the Guangdong gymnasium.

Zhang brushed aside two more rivals on his way to the final against Cai Liangchan of Macau.

Benjie Rivera lost as early as the Round of 16 of the 56kg division, bowing to Korean Lim Seung Chang, 2-0.

China and Vietnam again figured for the gold.

In women’s sanshou, Estimar took a bye to the quarterfinal of the 52 kg event where Iranian Mansoryansamiroumi gave her the exit papers, 2-0.

Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Bich stopped the Iranian in the semifinal and advanced to the gold medal round against another Chinese, E Meidie.

Chinese bets also dominated their awesome form in the bare-hands events, winning without question the men’s taijiquan/taijijian all-around event throughWu Yanan who won the gold with a near-perfect 19.8.

Vietnam showed shades of things to come in the SEA Games in Indonesia next year with the silver medal finish of Nguyen Than Tung (19.32).

Bronze medalist was Hsiao Yung Jin of Taipei (19.287) while Filipino Daniel Parantac was a distant 14th with 18.41.                 

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