Villacarlos bags PH’s lone gold in Thailand Open Karate-do meet
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Talisay City’s Alexis Nicole Villacarlos bagged two gold medals to lead the Association for the Upliftment of Karatedo (AUK)-Philippines in the Thailand Open Karate-do Championships in Phuket, Thailand which wrapped up last Tuesday.
The 13-year-old Villacarlos won a gold medal in the women’s 54-kilogram cadet individual kumite and took another gold medal for team Australia in the junior female team kumite.
In total, the AUK Philippines karatekas bagged one gold medal, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes in the tournament which drew over 800 karatekas from Brazil, Turkey, Australia, and England. The meet ended Tuesday.
Villacarlos bested Thailand’s Kamutporn Thinuan and Thongphueng Pornphailin who settled for silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the women’s 54-kilogram cadet individual kumite.
Fellow Cebuana Kelly Alexandrei Trocio bagged a silver medal in the 47kg 14-year-old female individual kata.
Bacolod’s Rik Simon Macaya earned a bronze medal in the -61kg junior individual kumite while Talisay City’s Jeremy Laurence Nopre, also earned a bronze in the senior male individual kata.
The four medal-winning karatekas are under the tutelage of one of Cebu’s finest karatedo coaches, Rhodee Reynes Saavedra, the founder of AUK who was at their side during their campaign in Thailand.
Saavedra explained that Villacarlos was loaned to the Australian team during the competition which resulted in her second gold medal not being credited to the country.
“We only had two months of training for the Thailand Open after the Karate Pilipinas Nationals held last May 2022. This competition in Thailand is to prepare them for the upcoming Southeast Asian Karate Federation Championships that will be held in Cebu,” said Saavedra.
The other karatekas of the AUK Philippines were Roshenne Maira Silva (junior female individual kata), Rus Josua Macaya (senior male individual kumite), and Giovanni Ephraim Apuya (senior male individual kata).
Also joining them in Thailand was Karate Pilipinas President Richard Lim, Saavedra’s fellow coaches Richie Villacarlos, Jaime Nopre, and Ryan Macaya. /rcg
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