Hawaii to host 2018 Wekaf World C’ships
THE BATTLE has yet to start but the delegation of World Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation (Wekaf)-Hawaii already scored some sort of victory as it earned the right to host the 2018 Wekaf World Championship.
“We are very excited. We were really determined to host the next world championship since we believe that Hawaii is the hub of eskrimadors,” said Grandmaster Robert Garcia of Doce Pares-Hawaii.
The selection of the host for the 15th edition of the biennial tournament was conducted during the World Congress of the 14th Wekaf World Championships yesterday at the Aster Peony Hall of J Centre Mall in Barangay Bakilid, Mandaue City.
It will be the first time that Hawaii will be hosting the tournament.
“It will be held in Honolulu. We are very capable of hosting the tournament. The first thing to do is to prepare the venues,” said Garcia.
Hawaii was the only one to join in the bidding process.
“There were other countries who wanted to bid but we advised them to give way because Hawaii was the unanimous choice,” said Wekaf chairman emeritus Supreme Grandmaster Diony Cañete, ODL (Order of Datu Lapu-Lapu).
SGM Cañete said Hawaii was so determined to win the hosting rights that Hawaii’s deputy speaker flew in to attend the World Congress.
Honolulu Congress Member Joey Manahan also accompanied the Hawaiian delegation.
Hawaii even brought its international dance group to show their determination to host the next event.
“We will be working closely with the tourism industry in Hawaii. We want to make it the most fun and most exciting event,” added Garcia.
Garcia added that apart from ensuring a successful hosting, Hawaii will also make sure to put up a strong showing in the tournament.
“We will still be in one team with the United States. We will form a very competitive team,” said Garcia.
Also during the World Congress, Norman Charles of Great Britain was nominated the new president of World Wekaf.
“It is very humbling to be chosen by my colleagues. As the new president, I will push for its standardization and work hard that the country members will continue to grow,” said Charles, who will serve a two-year term.
Charles retired as an eskrimador in 2014, winning four world titles and two European titles.
Grandmaster Raoul Giannuzzi is vice president, while Max Carpin of Reunion Island was elected as secretary.
Meanwhile, stick-fighters from the 33 competing countries buckle down to serious business as tournament proper starts today at the Convention Hall of J Centre Mall.
Filipino stick-fighters are out to reclaim lost glory. The country won the overall championship when it hosted the meet’s 12th edition which was held at the Cebu International Convention Center.
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