MANILA — As host, the Philippines is expected to win more medals if not claim the overall championships of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games slated from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
And one of the sports associations willing and ready to accept the challenge is Muay Association of the Philippines (MAP) which promised to win six or seven gold medals for the country.
“Pinaghahandaan na ng Muay Association of the Philippines ang darating the SEA Games kung saan may 11 events ang muay (The MAP is already preparing for the upcoming SEA Games where there 11 muay events),” national coach Preciosa Delarmino said during Thursday’s “Usapang Sports” hosted by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.
“We have a chance of winning the gold in more than half of the events, especially the women events,” she added.
Delarmino was referring to women athletes Rudza Abubakar of Zamboanga in the 45-kg and Jenelyn Olsim of Baguio in the 54-kg division in the combat event.
She also noted that the tandem of Mariah Trenyce Co and Rusha Mae Tarrate of Baguio is also favored to bag the gold in the wai kru (Thai boxing dance) event.
Delarmino was joined in the weekly forum also supported by the National Press Club and the Philippine Sports Commission by Mardel Claro, the country’s first international muay technical official.
Claro said that MAP has lined up a series of tournaments here and abroad to fine tune the SEA Games-bound muay athletes.
“We have the Arafura Games in Australia in April, the IFMA (International Federation of Muaythai Amateur) Senior World Championship in Bangkok, the World Martial Arts in Korea in August, the IFMA Youth in Turkey in September and of course, the SEA Games in November,” Claro said.
“Locally, we have the Visayas leg in Cebu next month, Mindanao leg in Butuan in July, Luzon leg in Olongapo in April, the Beach Games in Iloilo also in April, the Southern Luzon and NCR leg in June, Women’s Martial Arts Festival in October and PSC’s Batang Pinoy and Philippine National Games,” he
Claro said all the medalists will compete in the national championship which was moved to February due to the SEA Games schedule.
For the fourth time, the Philippines will host the SEA Games with many of the events to be held at the under-construction New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
The country hosted the biennial meet in 1981, 1991 and 2005 when the Philippines when bagged the overall championship. PNA – northboundasia.com