July 16, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) 2024 silver medalist Islay Erika Bomogao is eyeing a stronger comeback in the 2025 IFMA to bring back the country’s gold in the world championships recently held in Athens, Greece.

Bomogao was unsuccessful in defending her 2023 gold medal win in the 45-kilogram combat senior elite where she recently settled for bronze in the same event held on May 31 to June 10.

IFMA 2024 SILVER MEDALIST — Elite athlete Islay Erika Bomogao, 23, continues to inspire young athletes with her recent stint at the International Federation of Muaythai Associations 2024 World Championships in Athens, Greece where she won two silver medals in the individual and dual artistic events and a bronze medal in the 45-kilogram combat elite senior event. — Ofelia Empian

“I am sad for not defending the gold medal. But of course, I am motivated that next year, I will try again because I will learn from my experience,” Bomogao said.

The 23-year-old also contributed two silver medals in the individual waikru senior elite and her tandem with Rudzma Abubakar in the mai muay senior elite during the tournament that drew over 1,500 elite competitors from close to 100 countries.

Bomogao said she received evaluations after the IFMA, which she could use in future competitions.

“One of these is that I need more exposure at the professional level in order to upgrade my skills,” she said.

Bomogao is the country’s first female Filipino athlete to win a gold medal in the 2023 IFMA World Championships.

She started out as an athlete joining the provincial meet, Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association Meet, up to the Palarong Pambansa and then eventually moving up as an elite member of the national squad.

“I think I inspire the younger athletes that just like me, they can also represent the country in international events,” she said.

Bomogao was present during the awarding of incentives to the various provincial athletes who won medals in the recent CARAA Meet and other national and international games.

She is currently training for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok, Thailand in November.