SOPHIA Nicole Novino and Rhian Napoles ruled their respective weight categories in judo at the 8th Philippine Sports Commission Women’s Martial Arts Festival (PSC WMA) held at the Philippine Judo Federation training gym inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Ms. Novino, a sophomore from the National Academy of Sports, topped the women’s -44kg division after scoring an ippon win (1-0) over Mikeighla Louise de Vera of Baguio Judo Club while Gabrielle Lorine Dizon and Princess Maurine Villafranca settled for bronze medals.
Ms. Novino seemed to have adjusted well in her transition from judo kata to sparring after the Muntinlupa Judo Club standout convincingly defeated Mmess. Villafranca and Dizon in the preliminaries on the way to the finals.
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.
The six-day festival for the finest Filipino women martial arts athletes is supported by Pocari Sweat and Go21.
Ms. Napoles claimed the -48kg title at the expense of Mariana Alicia Roces after going through bronze medalist Jamila Abanador in the semifinals while Shanaia Yve Febrer and Jhenica Serrano reigned supreme in the -32kg and -40kg divisions.
Philippine Judo Federation president Ali Sulit expressed his gratitude to the PSC and PSC Commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, the commissioner in charge of Women in Sports, for including judo as a demonstration sport in the WMA Festival.
The event 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 of the ongoing WMA Festival on Thursday.
Other gold medalists in judo were Analyn Dino (-52kg), Samara Nina Vidor (-57kg), Maegan Motilla (-63kg), Raphaela Estrada (-70kg) and Francesca Michaela Roces (+70kg).
At the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, national wrestlers Jiah Pingot and Grace Loberanes didn’t disappoint in proving their worth.
Ms. Pingot handily defeated Lady May Carabuena of Mandaluyong City for the gold medal in the freestyle -53kg senior while Loberanes beat Kimberly Jhoy Bondad in traditional wrestling 57kg.
Also winning the gold were Cathlyn Vergara (classic 52kg), Mary Jhol Cacal (58kg), Jean Mae Lobo (63kg), junior grapplers Melissa Tumasis (52kg), Nicole Pinlac (58kg), Rhea Cervantes (63kg), Amber Arcilla (57kg and Nashica Tumasis (freestyle 53kg).
Competitions in arnis are ongoing at press time while sambo, taekwondo and muay thai will begin Wednesday.