Cebuano kickboxers look to make national team in Muay Thai C’ships
MUAY Thai fighters of Team Cebu City will be gunning for a spot in the national team when they take on some of the country’s kickboxers in the National Muay Thai Championships 2016 slated Dec. 16 at the Ultra Multipurpose Arena in Pasig City.
The tournament will serve as a selection process for the national team that will represent the country in various international tournaments next year.
Master Benigno “Ekin” R. Caniga Jr., head of the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines-Visayas, said Team Cebu City is inspired to put up a good showing in the tournament after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced that they are giving the sport of Muay Thai a provisional recognition as an Olympic sport.
With this, Muay Thai organizations will now be able to request some IOC fundings and take part in various programs including athlete development.
After the three-year provisional recognition period, Muay Thai organization can apply to become part of the Olympic Games sports program.
“It is great news for the Muay Thai communities all over the world. This gave us added inspiration to do well in the national championship. Our main goal now is to make the Philippine team,” said Caniga.
The eight competing Cebuano kickboxers are headed by Caniga’s nephew Ken “Shaolin” Caniga and mixed martial arts veteran Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro. The team will leave for Manila on Wednesday. “They prepared hard for this tournament. We will be facing the best of the best from different regions, but I trust my boys,” Caniga said.
Caniga added that he believed that with the support of the government, Filipino Muay Thai fighters have a big chance of winning Olympic medals for the country in the future.
“This is a sport that we can dominate, especially in the smaller division. Just like boxing, we Filipinos have natural gifts in combat sports,” he said.
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