The Philippines may be wihout its star boxers but will still be out to defend their boxing title at the 28th SEA Games this June. photo: Aundry Gan/SINGSOC
Philippines: Boxing team remains strong despite departure of headliners
has confirmed that the Philippines boxing squad will be going into the SEA Games without its star boxers Mark Anthony Barriga and Charly Suarez.
Olympian and defending SEA Games champion Barriga, along with Asian Games medallist Suarez, were earlier reported – despite an absence of formal notice – to have opted out of the regional Games this year in favour of the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) Pro Boxing Tournament.
Chef de mission Julian Camacho, who named the duo as “sure contenders for the gold”, had professed then that he hoped the two prestigious tournaments would not pose any schedule clashes.
However, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) has released their final list of representatives, and the conspicuous omission of Barriga and Suarez has come to light. Nevertheless, the region can look forward to other similarly competitive Filipino boxers this June, including 2013 SEA Games gold medallists Mario Fernandez and Josie Gabuco.
Myanmar: Footballers gearing up for further international exposure
The Myanmar Times
has provided more updates on its SEA Games-bound football team. Having whittled the shortlist down to 30 players, the squad has commenced a training camp at Yangon as part of its quest for the regional title.
The squad will then head overseas to test their skills against K-League and J-League opponents, before returning to host another international friendly.
“The players have been gradually improving as a team and I believe they will develop a great deal of experience from this trip,” remarked head coach U Kyi Lin.
This series of foreign exposure exercises follows the side’s failure to qualify for the AFC U23 Championships. While the players had fought hard to beat Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei in the group stages of their campaign, their defeat at the hands – or rather, feet – of Australia had lost them a place in the meet’s finals.
Although the team’s original objective was simply to make it to the semi-finals of the SEA Games this year, the nation’s deputy minister of sport has disclosed his hopes for a gold medal.
Singapore: Leading distance runner prepared to surmount near-impossible challenge
One of Singapore’s most promising distance runners has been presented with a seemingly superhuman SEA Games task – to run a total of 52.195 kilometres within four days.
According to Asiaone
, national marathon star and 10-kilometre record holder Soh Rui Yong has been selected for both these events at the regional meet, with the marathon being held on 7 June and the 10-kilometre race on 10 June.
However, Singapore Athletics (SA) has acknowledged the difficulty of such a race schedule, and does not intend to impose any tall orders on the 23-year-old.
"[Soh is] our best 10-kilometre runner and that's why we decided to pick him for both events. But we are not going to force him to run the 10-kilometre [race] if he doesn't think he can manage both. He will listen to his body and decide," revealed SA president Tang Weng Fei.
While the athlete himself is not in a haste to make any decisions yet, he is certainly game for the challenge.
"Preparing for the 10-kilometre [race] will hone my ability to change gears. That will make me a more dangerous marathoner in a tactical situation," he explained.
"For now, the focus is the marathon. Unfortunately, anyone who runs a marathon knows that three days is not ideal to recover for another hard race. We'll see what happens after but if I feel that I'm in a good enough shape to win a medal in the 10-kilometre [race] after the marathon, I see no reason why I wouldn't run," quipped Soh.
It does seem that the young runner might just be able to pull this feat off, as his impressive SEA Games team selection results were preceded by a record breakthrough in his high-altitude training. Just last week, Soh’s timing earned him a spot as one of the top three fastest Singaporeans at an altitude of over 5,000 metres.
All opinions expressed by various news agencies in this article are not representative of that of SINGSOC.