The 2013 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) combined taijijian and taijiquan gold medallist Daniel Parantac is optimistic to win golds when he steps on the mat next month at the 2015 SEAG in Singapore.
“Nasa 99%,” the Baguio native confidently expressed when asked about his chances. Parantac said that most of his opponents from the last edition have retired and he will be going up against a relatively new batch. Fortunately, the SEAG veteran had a chance to scout the other athletes. He recalled, “Last year, nakita ko yung performance ng mga kalaban ko; mga bata, malalakas din.” A Vietnamese, a Malaysian, and two Singaporeans will be his main rivals according to the defending champion.
The long-time internationalist last competed in the 2014 Asian Games where he won the silver medal despite lagging behind after the taijijian phase of the combined taijijian and taijiquan event. Parantac shared that he felt he can still medal because the scores of the athletes from second to eighth position were close. He told himself after that, “I need to beat the top two. [Kasi mahirap na talaga ‘yung top one eh.]” The wushu artist did just that by placing second in the taijiquan with a score of 9.68 for a combined score of 19.26 and walked away with the runner-up honors behind Chen Zouli of China.
In this year’s SEAG, the usual combined event will be split into three and Parantac will be joining two of these three events namely optional taijijian and optional taijiquan. Aside from that, Daniel will also be joining duilian (dual) weapons event. The term optional in this case means freestyle wherein they are give required elements, but it is up to the artist on how they will execute these elements in their routine along with some additions. With the events separated, the chances to win first is bigger. “Sana, sana,” the veteran exclaimed.
Being a veteran in the team, Parantac told his younger teammates, “Usually naman kung ano yung training natin dito, gawin niyo lang sa competition and that’s it. No pressure at all.” He shared that being nervous is part of the competition and he still feels it from time to time.
Parantac pursued finishing his education degree in the University of the Cordilleras after the Asian Games and resumed training for the SEA Games last January. When asked on what his advantage will be against the competition aside from the experience, the reigning SEA Games king stated, “Sa ‘kin kasi is medyo may pangalan na ko sa competition. Oh ito, from Philippines, Daniel Parantac, nakikita na namin ‘to, matagal na tong nag-cocompete.” He added that judges usually use your previous performances as benchmark of your current routine’s score; and as for new competitors they are usually given average scores.
Parantac goes for golds in three events in three days starting on June 6 with duilian weapons. In the following day, he will be competing in optional taijijian. He wraps up his campaign on June 8 in optional taijiquan.