PH kickboxers shoot for gold

Three Filipino kickboxers competing in the low kick event showed brilliance and are expected to reach their respective gold medal matches in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the Multi-Purpose Hall Gymnasium in Bac Ninh, Vietnam.

In this file photo, Jean Claude Saclag (red) celebrates after defeating Malaysia's Mohammed Mahmoud to bag the gold medal in kickboxing -63.5kg low kick event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at Cuneta Astrodome last December 10, 2019. (MB File Photo)

Jean Claude Saclag, Honorio Banario, and Emmanuel Cantores already advanced to the semifinals with each athlete already secured of at least bronze medals for the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas.

Saclag, reigning gold medalist in the men's -63.5kg division, is slated for his semifinal bout against Vu Truong Giang of host Vietnam at press time.

Banario, former ONE featherweight champion, and Cantores followed suit Monday, May 9 after reigning supreme in the -71kg and -60kg contests, respectively.

Kickboxing action in women's counterpart is ongoing at press time as well paraded by Claudine Veloso, who faces an acid test against Vietnamese foe Bui Hai Linh in the low kick -52 kg.

Joining in the fray for the gold medal hunt is Gina Iniong, the defending women's -55kg kick light SEA Games champion, as she competes in the -60kg of the low kick event

Renalyn Daquel (-48kg), Gretel de Paz (-56kg), and Zephania Ngaya (-65kg), for their part, have yet to see action in the women's full contact bouts.

Both Iniong and Ngaya will also participate in vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art, which starts next Wednesday, May 18. ###