Cebuano karateka dominates kumite 12-13 years category
Young Cebuano karateka Rafael Vidal was successful in his campaign in the 4th Hayashi-ha Asia Pacific Karate and Kobudo Championships 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka after clinching a gold medal in the kumite division and bronze medal in the kata division last weekend.
Vidal dominated the kumite (sparring) individual boys 12-13 years old 40-kilogram category for the gold medal.
He also won a bronze medal in the 12-13 years old individual kata (form) division.
The 12-year-old Cebuano, who is the pride of Team Hayashi-ha Shitoryukai Cebu, first defeated Sri Lanka’s Yasas Chamuditha in the kumite competition. He followed that up with another win against Malaysia’s Thivakaran Kuberakaanth. He advanced to the finals after beating Iran’s Ensi Amin and then defeated Sri Lankan Lashan Ramesh Kumara in the gold medal round.
In the kata event, a Sri Lankan karateka emerged as the champion in Vidal’s division while Iran placed second.
“Our sacrifices paid off. I am very proud of my son because he competed with a big heart,” said Vidal’s father, Reynante.
Vidal was the lone Filipino bet in the international competition after the Philippine delegation backed out in the last minute due to financial constraints.
“He managed to raise the flag of the country and bring honor to our country,” added Reynante of his son, who got some help financially from generous sponsors and persons for his trip the international tournament that featured around 600 karatekas from more than a dozen countries.
Vidal is set to return to Cebu on Wednesday.