Three members of the national junior muaythai team barged into the finals of the prestigious 2017 World Youth Muaythai Championship being held at the National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Promising fighter Rudzma Abubakar stunned hometown bet Chochaporn Yuangyai via an impressive 30-27 decision in the semifinals of the youth female division (45 kgs. 16-17 years) while Ghen-Yhan Berdon also made his presence felt by blasting Hossein Abdi Barandagh of Iran (30-27) in the youth male (45 kgs. 14-15 years)
Liane Benito joined them in finals following her 30-27 victory over Nadya Indah Royani of Indonesia in the semifinals of the youth female (45 kgs. 14-15 years) of the tournament sanctioned by the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur.
Abubakar shoots for the gold medal when she battles Joana Alves of Portugal in the championship round while Berdon takes on Niuita Chernov of Russia and Benito goes up against Erin Harberger of Australia.
Kristian Narca and Mariah Co settled for bronze after losing in their respective semifinals bouts in the event that attracts some 1,000 fighters from more than 30 countries.
Narca defeated Shamsiev Davlatshox of Uzbekistan before losing to Kritsada Luklema of Thailand in the youth male (48 kgs. 16-17 years) while Co was defeated by Ksenia Qumenaya of Russia in the youth female (51 kgs. 12-13 years).
The other members of the team were Baguio City bets Kurt Lubrica (youth male 51 kgs. 16-17 years), and Rosamarie Recto (youth female 48 kgs. 16-17 years), and Zamboanga native Bryan Siglos (youth male 63.5 kgs. 16-17 years).
Lubrica lost to Chun Hei Chau of Hong Kong, Recto faltered against Teresa Moreira of Portugal and Siglos bowed to Patrik Szina of Hungary.
“Blackeyes, bruises, cuts, sprains and fatigue are all part of our sport. But not once did these kids back down. They fought with their hearts. Congratulations to very strong wins against the powerhouses of muaythai. As the Spartans said, even gods bleed. Now, go win those medals and make our country proud,” said Muaythai Association of the Philippines Secretary General Pearl Managuelod who was accompanied to the tournament by coaches Billy Alumno, Roland Claro, Edzel Ngina, Precious Ocaya, Bryan Olod and Christian Gazmin.