By Adrian Stewart Co
Ilonggo David Zaldarriaga took home silver and bronze medals in the United World Wrestling (UWW) Grappling World Championships Cadets & Juniors UFA 2021 held in Ufa, Russia.
The Iloilo City-native Zaldarriaga opened his campaign last Friday (Saturday in the Philippines) with a bronze medal finish in the under 42-kilogram division of no-gi or no uniform competition.
The 15-year-old Zaldarriaga followed this up by taking home a silver medal in the 39-kilogram category of the freestyle wrestling or the gi competition on Saturday evening (Sunday in the Philippines).
Zaldarriaga is an incoming Grade 10 student from Ateneo de Iloilo and is a member of the Team Iloilo Jiu-Jitsu University (IJJU), which is affiliated to Deftac Ribeiro Jiu-jitsu-Philippines.
According to David’s father and Deftac Ribeiro Jiu-jitsu-Iloilo head Zony Zaldarriaga, their participation in the tournament was challenging but is worth it after winning two medals.
“Winning Silver & Bronze is something to be proud of. We are happy to represent our country and we are proud to be Filipino!” Zony posted on his Facebook status on Sunday.
“Thank you Lord Jesus for everything. To our family who has been supportive from the start. I also want to thank the Team IJJU for their financial support, training and prayers. We will train harder,” he added.
David was one of the five Filipino athletes to compete in the two-day tournament aside from Fierre Afan, Lucas Aguilar, Joaquin Antonio Marte, and Gabriel del Rosario.
Del Rosario got the country’s other silver in the competition, while Aguilar, Marte and Afan settled for bronze medals in their respective events.
Overall, Team Philippines finished the competition at third place with two silver and four bronze medals./ASC, WDJ