Kickboxing lived up to its name as the Philippines’ potential kick off bid to retain the overall title when eight athletes assured themselves of medals in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Tuesday at the Bac Ninh provincial gymnasium.
Zephania Ngaya drew a bye for a guaranteed silver medal in women’s 65-kg class of full contact. She will face the winner between Huyinh Thi Aikvee of host Vietnam and Jessie Yothawan of Thailand in the final set on Friday.
Four more Filipina kickboxers also assured themselves of bronze after similarly drawing byes.
But Renalyn Dacquel could advance to a potential bronze medal if she beat Boonpeng Kanwara in a women’s full contact -48 kgs class fight, set late Tuesday.
Gretel De Paz faces either Le Thi Nhi of Vietnam or Pieter Fiandra Ariesta of Indonesia in the gold-medal round of the -56 kgs, also of women’s full contact on Wednesday.
Claudine Veloso battles Vietnamese Bui Hai Linh in the semifinals of the 52-kg women’s low kick class, and Gina Iniong meets Malaysian Radzuan Hayatun Nahijin in the semifinals of 60-kg women’s low kick event.
The Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas, headed by President Francis “Tol” Tolentino, is hoping the seven bronze and one silver will turn to gold medals on the final day of kickboxing.
Former wushu champion Jean Claude Saclag also assured himself of a bronze medal via a 3-0 victory over Souliyavong Latxasak of Laos last Sunday.
Honorio Banario and Emmanuel Cantores joined Saclag as potential gold medalists by disposing of their opponents on Monday night.
Banario scored a 3-0 win over Indonesian Tanoi Yermias Yohanes in the quarterfinals in male low kick -71 kg class and Cantores beat Malaysian Ain Kamarrudin, 3-0, also in the quarterfinal phase of low kick -60 division to advance to the semifinal stage.
Daryl Chulipas, unfortunately, lost to Indonesia’s Salmri Stendra, 0-3, in the men’s full contact 51-kg quarterfinals.