Filipino fighters take home golds in world Muay Thai meet
Filipino fighters Jessa Rivera and Ghenyan Berdon recently struck gold in the 2015 Royal World Cup, a meet billed as the world championship for Muay Thai.
The 17-year-old Rivera convincingly defeated her Thai rival in the junior female 42kg category at the National Stadium in Bangkok.
“It was a long time ago when we beat a Thai in their sport and on their turf,” said retired police general Lucas Managuelod, president of the Muay Thai Association of the Philippine. “We started raining about three months ago and the hard work bore fruit.”
Former Muay champion Roland Claro earned the rare distinction of beating a Thai in a world-caliber fight roughly 15 years ago.
Berdon from Zamboanga City topped the junior male 32kg after the 13-year-old toppled fighters from Russia and Kazakhstan on the way to the gold.
“We discovered these kids from the PNG (Philippine National Games) and the Batang Pinoy,” said Managuelod, thanking the Philippine Sports Commission for the financial backing and the Philippine Olympic Committee for the all-out support.
MAP secretary general Luis Rivera said the Philippines also brought home three bronze medals courtesy of 2013 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Jonathan Polosan (-63.5kg), Maico Fernandes (48kg) from Cagayan de Oro and 11-year-old Ken Pamoso (30kg) from Cebu City.
Out of 102 countries, 52 countries won gold medals in various weight categories with the Philippines sending a small delegation of 12 fighters.
Coaches Armando Solar, Edzel Ngina and Claro were also credited for the victories of Rivera and Berdon, who both dominated their finals opponents in three rounds.
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