Coach Billy Alumno and the country’s top muay Thai players will fly for New York tomorrow, July 3, en route to Birmingham, Alabama for the World Games 2022 starting July 7 until the 17th.
“We have two athletes who qualified,” Alumno, a local muay Thai legend himself who also played boxing, told this writer through messenger.
He will be leaving with IFMA World Muay Thai 2021 champion Philip Delarmino and Leeana Bade, who are both rated number two in the world for the games that will officially start on Friday, July 8 (July 9 here).
The two top players are expected to see action during the last three days of the 10 day event.
Delarmino, who qualified by winning the 2021 IFMA world championship, also won a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games last May in Hanoi, Vietnam and he is also the Asian muay Thai champion held in Dubai last year, where he and Alumno were stuck for nearly a month due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Delarmino is second in the world standing in the 57 kilogram (featherweight) division behind Ukranian Vladislav Mykyras and ahead of Ahmad Nor Iman Aliff Bin Rakib of Malaysia.
The rest of the top eight players are: Rui Botelho, Almaz Sarsembekov, American Austin Amnel, Nguyen Tran Duy of Vietnam and Ali Kinanah.
Bade ranks behind Zoe Poturak in the 63.5 kg. or light welterweight division and ahead of Savannah Foden of Canada, French Nora Carnolie, Janejira Wankrue, American Erin Clayton, Nadiya Etermad Moghaddam and Erica Bjornestrd of Norway.
Bade, daughter of retired Philippine Basketball Association standout and former national player Chris Bade, is 6-0 (win-loss) in her amateur muay Thai career and holder of three amateur titles. Last February, Bade won the West Coast Elite MMA 135.
Bade’s sister, Gabi, played for the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team which saw action in the Jones Cup in 2019.
Other events in the Birmingham competitions include lacrosse for men and women, bowling, dancesport, karate, powerlifting, gymnastics, archery, inline hockey, squash, racquetball, sumo, wushu, billiards, kickboxing, squash, waterski and waterboard and ju jitsu.
Special events include: tug of war, wheelchair rugby, canoe polo, artistic roller skating, korfball, flying disc, bach handball, fistball, racquetball, bwoles, canoe marathon floorball canopy piloting finswimming and lifesaving. Pigeon Lobien