Once a farmer's son, now a Sea Games Pencak Silat hero bagging gold for PH - The Daily Sentry

Once a farmer's son, now a Sea Games Pencak Silat hero bagging gold for PH

Edmar Tacuel/photo courtesy of MSN and Bombo Radyo News

Every athlete has the mindset of being the best in the sport they excel at, and this could be achieved by winning the elusive gold in a big biennial sports competition such as the Southeast Asian Games.

The country is now hosting the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games and its both a dream and fear to play in front of your fellow countrymen. *

According to Inquirer, EdmarTacuel, an Ilonggo native did just that, he punched his way out of poverty in winning the gold medal for a sport indigenous only to Indonesia. Because for sure, he knows the cash incentives that go for every medal an athlete would win is of big help to the family.

Tacuel won the gold medal for the men’s senitunggal event of Pencak silat.

“All the hard work paid off,’’ said Tacuel, the sixth in a brood of seven, in Filipino. “This is the happiest day of my life. “Thank you to all the people who supported me.’’

Tacuel who is a farmer’s son and sixth among a brood of seven children from Tubongan, Iloilo started his journey in the martial arts with the national sport Arnis in 2012. He was eventually shifted to pencak silat when a friend of his introduced him to the sport.

In the gold medal match he was able to get the nod of the judges and secured for himself 470 points in his first stint in the 11 nation biennial meet.

Muhammad Iqbal Bin Abdul Rahman of Singapore pocketed the silver medal with 461 points and Dino BimaSulistianto of Indonesia placed third with 460 points. *

He only got his spot in the national team last April, prior to the SEA Games he joined the team’s trainings in Singapore and Thailand.

For his feat, Tacuel is expected to receive an equivalent of least P600,000 P300,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and P300,000 from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)—plus more courtesy of President Duterte.

“I’m happy that I won a gold medal,” he said. “I want to thank all the coaches, my teammates, my province-mates, to the whole Philippines, many thanks.”

The 20-year-old SEAG Gold medalist added that his knowledge of arnis, his sport since 2012, eased him in his adjustment to Pencak silat. He became a member of the national team last April and trained rigorous in Singapore and Thailand.

“It’s my first SEA Games. They say I’m lucky, but I believe it was the result of persistence and dedication in what I do,’’ said Tacuel.

Edmar Tacuel/photo courtesy of Philstar