PH kickboxing bets in shape, raring to fight | Inquirer Sports
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PH kickboxing bets in shape, raring to fight

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:03 AM October 21, 2020

When the coronavirus health scare arrived on local turf early this year, the Philippine kickboxing team sought refuge in the highlands of Benguet province far away from the tentacles of the pandemic.

And while national squads from various sports were forced to abandon training for several months, the national kickboxers refused to be idle and just carried on with their daily routines.

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“Our kickboxers never really stopped training. They have been continuously working out despite the pandemic,’’ Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKB) secretary general and lawyer Wharton Chan said.

Health protocols have been in place and are strictly being observed during workouts, according to Chan, with national coach Mark Sangiao, the foun­der of Team Lakay, putting premium on safety while keeping the fighters in tip-top shape.

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So when the team begins to engage in a series of tournaments next year, these kickboxers don’t have to cram in whipping themselves up into competitive form.

“The pandemic never became a hindrance to the progress of our kickboxers. We will have three big tournaments next year and we will be ready,’’ Chan said.

After holding an open national tryouts early next year to define the composition of the team, the Filipino kickbo­xers will see action in the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games on May 21-30 in Bangkok, Thailand, and the World Kickboxing Championships on Oct. 18-24, 2021, in Cairo, Egypt.

They could also see action in the 2021 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, where the host country are the favorites.

Jerry Olsim (men’s 69kg kick light), Gina Iniong (women’s 55kg kick light) and Jean Claude Saclag (men’s 63.5kg low kick) accounted for the three gold medals that the Philippines won in the sport during the Games.

“We want to stay competitive. We are holding tryouts next year to find the best of the best, so they won’t be complacent,’’ Chan said, adding that the SKP will stage an online Kickboxing Musical Form National Championships next month. INQ

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