Ballester, Gavales capture medals on final day of arnis and wrestling at PSC WMA Festival

MARIA Mae Ballester pocketed two gold medals in arnis while wrestler Alliah Rose Gavales proved her worth by climbing the podium in two junior cadet weight categories in the 8th Philippine Sports Commission Women’s Martial Arts Festival (PSC WMA) at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Ms. Ballester ruled the senior’s traditional single weapon and double weapon in the forms competition, a similar output that Melody Legaspi and Cloie Tutor were able to pull off in the junior division.

Ms. Tutor convinced the judges with her performance in the traditional single and double weapon events while Ms. Legaspi impressed the field at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium with a near-flawless routine in the non-traditional single and double weapon.

At the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ms. Gavales brought down Cathlyn Vergara, 4-1, in the gold-medal match of the 63kg freestyle event and picked up a silver medal in the 57kg traditional category after dropping her match against a more experienced Amber Arcilla, 10-9.

Apart from the 19-year-old Ms. Gavales, cadet wrestlers Charmel Gem Angana (53kg freestyle), Hannah Khariz Alipala (57kg traditional), Xylem Villanueva (68kg), Kristine Joy Oberez (52kg classic) and M-Jhay Cater (58kg) topped their respective divisions.

Junior freestyle grappler Nashica Tumasis (53kg) and classic junior wrestlers Melissa Tumasis (52kg), Nicole Pinlac (58kg) and Rhea Cervantes (63kg) emerged triumphant at the festival organized by the PSC with the backing of Pocari Sweat and Go21.

Veteran grapplers from the national team didn’t disappoint either as Jiah Pingot subdued Lady May Carabuena in the freestyle senior 53kg and Grace Loberanes defeated Kimberly Jhoy Bondad in the 57kg traditional event.

The Festival is part of the country’s initial preparations for the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Bangkok, Thailand next year, exactly 365 days after the closing ceremony on Thursday.

Featuring the nation’s finest women athletes in 11 sports, the WMA is being streamed live at the PSC’s YouTube channel and the PSC WMA Festival FB page.

Other winners in the national sport of arnis were Angelyn Datuin in the senior non-traditional single weapon, Cristine Mae Nacua in the senior non-traditional double weapon and the trio of Angela Callanta, Eliyah Cervantes and Liendhzay Gigante in the synchronized mixed traditional-espada y daga event.