After successfully defending his 57-kg muaythai crown in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, Phillip Delarmino has now shifted his focus on the World Games slated for July 7 to 17 in Birmingham, USA.
Delarmino only has a few days left to relish his short vacation as he goes back to the grind to prepare for the prestigious quadrennial event that mostly includes sports that are not part of the Olympics.
“Pahinga muna ng ilang araw, tapos balik training na po ulit,” said the 31-year-old Ilonggo native.
“Isang karangalan po na makapaglaro ulit sa World Games, hindi man tayo pinalad last 2017 games. Ngayon po, paghahandaan nating mabuti at sisikapin natin, this time na makakuha ng medal,” he said.
Delarmino, who has been a member of the national team for more than a decade, is going all out especially since he secured the World Games slot with impressive victories in the World Championship in Thailand last year.
He beat Russian Alexander Abramov in the championship round to bag the gold.
On the way to the final, he stopped India’s Laishram Bidyachandra Singh in two rounds, before beating Javad Vahid Reza of Sweden on points in the quarterfinals.
Then, he defeated Kazakhstan’s Almaz Sarsembekov in a tight semifinal contest to arrange the final duel with Abramov.
“Lahat po ng mga tumalo sa akin dati ay nabawian ko sila this time,” added Delarmino, who expects to face the same opponents in the US competition.
The SEA Games was just part of the journey for the most accomplished member of the national team. But he took it so seriously that he gave it all to win the gold that almost slipped away.
Thanks to the successful protest made by Muaythai Association of the Philippines secretary general Pearl Managuelod, the gold was rewarded to the rightful owner—Filipino world champion Delarmino.
Delarmino bagged the Philippines’ second muaythai gold and the 52nd overall after a successful protest in the men’s 57-kg combat event, which he initially lost to host Vietnam’s Nguyen Doan Long.
MAP officials contested that Delarmino landed cleaner hits and more points in convincing the organizers to reverse the decision in favor of the Filipino bet, 29-28.