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Wushu’s dilemma

KUALA LUMPUR – It takes at least five years to get to a high level in wushu, the kind of commitment only a few are willing to give, according to national coach Samson Co.

“Kaya mahirap mag-recruit,” said Co who won five gold medals in the same number of SEAG appearances.

Co said wushu is played in the Palarong Pambansa, but the quality of competition is low.

It may look easy to watch, but athletes take years to perfect their routines.

Wushu requires flexibility, strength and concentration.

Athletes are judged according to the degree of difficulty of their routines, power and quality, according to Co.

A good example of how hard to become a national player is Bea Lucero who tried to qualify for the national team several years ago.

Bea, a former gymnast and taekwondo jin, had flexibility and power, but lacked the experience required to become good in wushu.

Kimberly Macuha, who made her SEAG debut Sunday, took up the sport at the age of 10 and made it into the SEAG team after six years.

“Sumama lang po ako sa ate ko, dahil mahilig po ako sa mga kung fu movies,” said Macuha. “Nagsimula po kami 40, pero ako na lang po ang natira.”

Although she was able to compete in a few international events, Macuha said she got impatient and left the pool for almost a year.

Eventually, Macuha was convinced to rejoin the team. (Rey Bancod)