By Rey Bancod
Kuala Lumpur – A farmer’s son from Capiz took up pencak silat less than two years ago, lost all but two bouts overseas before finally breaking through with the gold medal in the just-ended 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Dines Dumaan gave the country its 24th gold medal on Tuesday, his manhandling of Indonesia’s Firman capping a run of three victories in the men’s tanding Class A 45-50kg.
The morning after his unexpected triumph, Dumaan was visibly uncomfortable with his new-found stature. He sat on the breakfast table and wished he was elsewhere instead of facing the glare of the spotlight.
Dumaan said he started out as a taekwondo athlete representing his school where he had little success. He never got his blackbelt.
He also dabbled in mixed martial arts and kickboxing until he was introduced into the little-known martial art that originated in Indonesia.
“Mas maraming galaw kesa taekwondo,” said the 22-year-old fighter who took a leave from school to concentrate on his career.
His victory, coming 12 years after Earl Buenviaje won it during the Manila Games in 2005, is expected to create awareness of the sport which has strong presence in Mindanao.
“I hope the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) will approve our request to join the Asian pencak silat championship in South Korea,” said team manager Indir Candor.
The Asian event is set Sept. 21-26.
Aside from Dumaan’s gold medal, the team also brought home four bronzes, all in tanding.
The other medallists include Rick Rod Ortega in the men’s tanding Class C -60kg., Jefferson Rhey Loon in the men’s tanding Class D -65kg., Jeryll del Rosario in the men’s tanding Class D and Princesslyn Enopia in the women’s tanding Class A 45-50kg.
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