The vastly-improved national muay team has recently proved its mettle by snaring three golds, five silvers and five bronzes in the prestigious International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) World Championship 2014 held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Center in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Young kickboxer Alvin Joseph Clark led the country’s campaign in the seven-day meet as he ruled the muay (boxing) cadet male 42-kg event. He defeated Daniel Zdenek of Czech Republic in the semifinals then followed it up with another impressive win in the finals against Gebril Chaibi of France.
Clark added one silver in the wai khru (form) cadet male event. Wai khru is a category similar to the kata event in karate.
Robert Balinon Jr. also made his presence felt by topping the wai khru junior male then grabbed a bronze in the muay junior male 54-kg division.
The third gold was delivered by Jeremie Yalung in the wai khru junior female. She also got a silver in the muay junior female 45-kg. class.
The other medals were from Debbie Dulnuan (two silvers–wai khru junior female and muay junior female 45-kg.), Julie Tultog (one silver–wai khru junior female, and one bronze–muay junior female 48-kg), Jonathan Polosan (one bronze–muay senior men’s 63.5-kg.), Phillip Delarmino (one bronze–muay senior men’s 54-kg.) and Louie Claro (one bronze– muay male junior 67-kg.).
“It’s our best showing so far in the World Championships. Our hard work during training paid off. We were also given strength and conditioning training by the Philippine Olympic Committee and it really helped us a lot,” said coaching staff member Edzel Ngina.
The other members of the team supported by the Philippine Sports Commission were Preciousa Ocaya (women’s muay 54-kg.), Manuel delos Reyes (men’s muay 51-kg.) and Jerve Tiengeo (men’s muay 48-kg.).
In the 2012 World Championship held in Russia, the team got four bronzes courtesy of Ocaya, Delarmino, Maricel Subang and Jessie Bitaga.
Coaches Roland Claro and Leomer Malubay, Muay Association of the Philippines President Lucas Managuelod and Secretary General Atty. Luis Rivera were also in the team.