Six Filipino kickboxers to fight for gold on Friday
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Six Filipino kickboxers headed by Jean Claude Saclag and Gina Iniong Araos will attempt to win a gold medal in their respective divisions in the finals of the 31st Southeast Asian Games kickboxing tournament Friday at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium in Hanoi.
Saclag, the reigning gold medalist in the men’s low kick 63.5-kilogram division, will take on Thailand’s Chaleamlap Santidongsakun on Friday, May 13.
Araos, who is the gold medalist in the women’s low-kick 60kg division, faces another Thai, Waraporn Jaiteang in the gold medal round.
Both Saclag and Araos will be among those six Filipino kickboxers to hopefully win the gold on Friday.
Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKP) Secretary-General Lawyer Wharton Chan believes the country can surpass the 2019 SEA Games haul of three gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze in this year’s regional showpiece.
“Our athletes have done a tremendous performance and exceptional job despite fighting in a hostile terrain after beating several Vietnamese athletes,” Chan said.
“I predict we can be at 80 percent or 5-of-6 or maybe 4-of-6 in winning golds in tomorrow’s finals. We can surpass the three golds last time,” he said.
In addition, Renalyn Dacquel will also fight for the gold medal against Vietnamese Thi Hang Nga Nguyen in the women’s 48kg full contact category.
Gretel De Paz squares off with Pieter Ariesta of Indonesia in the women’s full contact 56kg division.
Zeph Ngaya who takes on Vietnamese Huynh Thi Kim Vang in the women’s minus 65kg full contact finale; and Claudine Veloso locks horns with Amanda Loupatty of Indonesia in the women’s 52kg low kick division.
Regardless of the finals results, the Philippine kickboxing team is already assured to haul eight medals as they already earned three bronze medals earlier this week. Honorio Banario and Emmanuel Cantores settled for bronze in their respective categories.
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