It is show time for the country’s top muay Thai players in the World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama and coach Billy Alumno will be in the sidelines hoping that his trainings will bear fruit with the world’s top athletes hoping for podium finishes.
This is tough for newly crowned Southeast Asian Games 57 kilogram king Philip Delarmino as he goes against the seven of the toughest muay Thai players from all over the world in his category. He is ranked number two, like Leeana Bade, who seeks action in the 63.5 kg. or the light welterweight division.
The University of Baguio alumnus Alumno, who also dabbled in boxing, is seen in his Facebook page sparring with Bade, daughter of former Philippine Basketball Association and Team Philippines Chris Bade, Thursday in preparation for her match Friday.
“We have two athletes who qualified,” Alumno, a local muay Thai legend himself who also played boxing, told this writer through messenger previously.
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.
Alumno, in a story recently published said, “they have been doing a detailed training program, focusing more on speed to compensate for the expected height advantage of his opponents.”
He said Delarmino will be facing players he have fought against in the recent past including the Kazakh Sarsembekov whom Delarmino beat in last year’s World Championships.
Others in the entry list are SEA Games champions, but from different weight divisions, Bin Rakib and Nguyen, Myktas the Arafura gold winner, the Portuguese Botelho who sees action in the ONE Championships and the American Amell, winner of a bronze medal in the World Championship.
Delarmino has been in top form the past two years, winning the World Muay Thai Council Asia Featherweight, the 2021 World Championships, and the SEA Games.
Other events in the Birmingham hosted competitions are 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