THE Russian martial arts sports of sambo is alive and kicking in the Philippines even during the pandemic.
Pilipinas Sambo Federation secretary-general Paolo Tancontian even believes better days are coming for the sports with or without the coronavirus outbreak.
Tancontian said virtual trainings of sambo continue both in Manila, where most of the mixed martial arts practitioners are based, and in Davao, their home base, and Baguio and other pronvinces.
“Sa sambo, ayos lang kami. May konti pa ding virtual training ang mga atleta pero sumusunod pa din tayo sa ipinatutupad na guidelines ngayong may pandemic,” said Tancontian in last Thursday's Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) “Usapang Sports on Air” via Zoom.
“Hinihintay pa din natin yun go-signal ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) thru the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission. But we will be ready to compete once the situation gets normal,” explained Tancontian.
“Right now very limited pa din talaga yun training because of the pandemic. Mostly online training but still monitored by our coaches. Wala pang contact so we focus on strategy," explained Tancontian.
“Fortunately, yun ibang sambo athletes natin, may mga sariling gym to train. Yun iba nasa abroad like Las Vegas at UAE. Individual training muna."
Tancontian, however, assured editors and reporters of TOPS that sambo athletes will be ready once the situation returns to normal.
The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) scheduled in Thailand on May 2021 is high on the agenda of Tancontian.
“Our athletes have to train very hard for.the AIMAG, especially our female athletes who will compete in combat sambo,” claimed Tancontian.
Tancontian was joined in the weekly session livestreamed on “Sports on Air” page on Facebook and YouTube by former Philippine Azkals mainstay and 7-a-Side foitball organizer Anton del Rosario and 2019 SEA Games silver medalist Kim Remolino.
Sponsors of the forum are the PSC and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).