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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Yasay leads PH’s dominant finish in world muaythai tilt

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DUMAGUETE City’s proud son, LJ Rafael Yasay, clinched two gold medals to propel Team Philippines to a dominant finish at the recent IFMA World Senior Muaythai Championships in Patras, Greece.

The 19-year-old teamed up with Kim Ryan Asense to secure the top spot in the men’s Mai Muay event, then capped his stellar performance with a gold-medal victory in the Men’s Under 23 Combat -48 kg category.

Nicknamed “The Flash,” Yasay displayed his signature speed and accuracy, defeating Danila Rakitskii of Russia by unanimous decision in their final bout to cap the Philippines’ campaign on a high note.

Yasay also earned a silver in the Wai Kru event.

Ariel Lee Lampacan won an additional gold medal for the Philippines in the men’s Wai Kru, while the female duo of Alyssa Kylie Mallari and Rhichein Yosore delivered in the women’s Mai Muay event.

Other Filipino medalists included Islay Erika Bomogao, who took bronze in the women’s Elite 45kg; Lampacan and Noel Alabata in the men’s Muay; and Bomogao and Rudzma Abubakar in the women’s Mai Muay.

The Philippine Muay Thai team, collectively known as Team Bagsik, garnered 4 gold medals, 5 silver medals, and a bronze, finishing third overall among 80 countries competing in the sport’s biggest event.

Yasay reached the finals after defeating Kazakhstan’s Didar Zhapparkulov in the semifinals via a 2nd round referee stoppage. He overcame a Turkish opponent in the quarterfinals.

Defending champion Bomogao settled for bronze in the senior female 45-kg class following a 27-30 defeat against Huynh Ha Huu Huei of Vietnam in the semifinals.

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