AS host country, 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 na SEA Games kung saan may 11 events ang muay,” said national coach Preciosa Delarmino 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.”
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 added 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 Muay thai 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 naman, 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.
All the medalists here will compete in the national championship which was moved to February because of the SEA Games schedule.”
Also present at Usapang Sports were PSC commissioner Celia Kiram and Cynthia Carrion of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP), who talked about the success of women in sports in 2018.
The weekly “Usapang Sports” is a project of TOPS, the newest sports media organization composed of sports editors, writers and photographers from the countrys’ leading tabloids.
Heading TOPS are Ed Andaya of People’s Tonight, president; Beth Repizo of Pilipino Star Ngayon and Dennis Eroa of Inquirer/Bandera, vice-presidents; Edwin Rollon of Balita, secretary; Nympha Miano-Ang of Bulgar, treasurer; and Ferdz de los Santos of Abante, auditor.