Gametime: Teen PH wakeboarder set to compete in SEA games

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2019 09:54 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 10:04 AM

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Philippine national team members have their sights set on gold in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games here in the Philippines.

One of them is teen wakeboarder Ralph Gelo Villaro who bagged a silver medal in the recent International Wakeski and Wakeboard Federation series in Singapore.

The 18-year-old confessed it wasn’t easy to reach this level of competition.

“Nagstart ako sa sport when I was 14 years old. 'Yung mom ko kasi nagwowork sa wakepark as sales agent. So nung nakita ko yung sport nagustuhan ko agad pero naging mahirap din sa kin dahil hindi naman ganung ka well off ang family ko to afford wakeboarding,” said Villaro in an interview on Gametime.

After 2 years of “riding,” Villaro began joining wakeboard competitions.

He admitted he didn't start off well, but as he become more experienced he was able to pull off some of the more complicated tricks in the sport.

The wakeboarding competition in the coming SEA Games has 3 categories: Wakeboarding, wakeskating, and ski. Villaro will join the wakeboarding and wakeskating contests.

Villaro believes they will have the upper hand against their competitors since most of the national team members are already used to ride in cable wakeparks. He said most of their competitors learned to ride using boats.

Despite the homecourt advantage, he said they make sure they will be coming into the competition well-prepped.

“Nagpapractice talaga kami, gusto talaga naming makakuha ng gold medal and we want to make the Philippines number 1 talaga,” he said.

Their main competitor, he said, will be SEA Games powerhouse Thailand, whose riders are also well-experienced using cable parks.

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