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Foreign fighter bolster kickboxers

The national kickboxing team tapped a foreign fighter to help it prepare for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games set to start on Friday in Cambodia.

Walid Hamid, a Dutch-Moroccan kickboxer based in The Netherlands, has been helping the national squad as early as last year in a bid to come up with a strong finish in the biennial meet.

Hamid, who is a Fight League world welterweight champion, has a professional record of 47 wins, three losses and one draw.

“I think I just brought in a little bit of toughness and some more structure,” Hamid said.

“Back then everybody just does their whole thing. Now they train as a group and I make sure everybody puts in as much work and intensity.”

Hamid stressed that he taught Filipino fighters some of the techniques that will serve as their weapons in the prestigious regional meet.

“I added a variety of techniques for them to not only box but to kick and mix them up in the best way. I hope this will be practiced when they go to the SEA Games,” he said, citing the importance of nutrition, rest and recovery.

‘I think we could get six gold medals but the ideal number is 10 golds so that their training won’t go to waste.’

“It’s not just training until you finish but also a good portion of rest and a good portion of eating good food.”

In the previous SEA Games in Hanoi, the Philippines collected two gold, four silver and two bronze medals to place third overall in kickboxing.

The Philippines will be sending a 17-man delegation bannered by SEA Games gold medalists Gina Araos (women’s 60-kilogram), Jean Claude Saclag (men’s 63kg) in the event that is set at the Elephant Hall 1 of the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex from 13 to 16 May.

Kickboxing coach Glenn Mondol said having Hamid on the coaching staff really helped them out in their preparation.

After bagging four gold medals in the 2022 Asian Kickboxing Championships at the Bangkok Youth Center in Thailand last December, Mondol hopes that the national kickboxers will do better this time around.

“We are helping out one another so that their training comes out good to prepare for this year’s SEA Games. Our knowledge expanded and things were added in their training,” Mondol said.

“We were able to get the top six in the Asian Kickboxing Championships last year and we were able to keep up with our opponents. We’re still training them so that they won’t be overconfident.”

“I think we could get six gold medals but the ideal number is 10 golds so that their training won’t go to waste.”

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