RP wrestlers seek gold
By: Clyde Mariano (Tempo)

Philippine Sports Commission’s Jolly Gomez said he is optimistic wrestling will deliver in the Southeast Asian Games following the good showing of the Filipinos in local tournaments in Iran where they are undergoing training for the last four months.

“News reaching my office show our wrestlers are making good there ,” Gomez told Tempo/Bulletin.

“ I am pretty sure they will deliver the medals like they did in the last competition two years ago in Indonesia,” added Gomez, who has 14 National Sports Associations under his supervision.

Wrestling made a perfect performance in Indonesia where the six wrestlers won medals, including two golds by Margarito Angana and Jason Balabal.

Even Iranian coach Ashkan Ghaedlahmat has predicted six golds, adding the Filipinos are basically good and have the natural skills.

“I watched them the first time I handled them. I was really impressed,” said the Iranian coach who competed for his country in various overseas competitions.

A physical education graduate at Tehran University, Ghaedlahmat became the first Iranian coach to handle Philippine wrestlers. He worked as a coach in Bulgaria and Turkey before coming to the Philippines.

He retired from active competition after suffering a dislocated left shoulder.

Completing the medal campaign for the country are Margarito Angana, brothers Joseph and Jason Balabal, Alvin Lobregato, Noel Norada and Johnny Morte.

The wrestlers also trained for one month in Korea under coach and 1988 Seoul Olympic gold medalist and 1989 Asian Wrestling champion Han Myung Woo.