June 21, 2024

The Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKP) is making sure members of the national squad are in top shape when they represent the country in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
SKP Secretary General Wharton Chan told reporters that coaches, including Team Lakay honcho Mark Sangiao, Randy Caluag, Glen Mondol, and Olympian Donnie Geisler, have sifted through potential elite athletes from the country.
He recalled during 2019 SEA Games, the SKP was not given much time to prepare the athletes, as the sport is a new addition in the biennial games.
He said the Vietnamese government is bent on staging the SEA Games in Hanoi on May 2022 after it was cancelled in 2021 due to the rising Covid-19 cases.
Cambodia, meanwhile, will host the 32nd SEA Games in 2023.
Last June 2021, 50 aspirants from various affiliate clubs joined a bubble selection camp that followed a grueling training program designed by Sangiao in Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet.
The national coaches selected the top 24 athletes and the final 12 players were culled to carry the national flag in various international outings including the SEAG.
The Philippines won three golds, two silvers, and a bronze in the kickboxing competition that made its debut in the 2019 Philippine SEA Games. The country was second to Vietnam in terms of medal haul.
The SKP athletes were featured in the fight card of the second Adivay Explosion, a kickboxing event mounted as a training ground for the national athletes, last December at the Benguet Sports Complex in Wangal, La Trinidad.
SKP is the national governing body for kickboxing in the country. – Ofelia C. Empian