THE 18-member Davao City team collected a total of four gold medals, nine silvers and 10 bronzes in the 1st Muay Thai Virtual Championships that concluded Thursday, September 10.
Tom Kent Española clinched the gold in max fit 18-40 years division, beating Ian del Rosario of General Santos City who settled for the silver. Dabawenyos Arvin Nudalo and John Paul Galvan each got a bronze.
Davao's Roberto Nell Jone Astudillo also bagged a gold over teammate Jake Hernani and General Santos City's Raul Sevilleno in max fit men's masters category.
Astudillo annexed his second gold by topping the shadow boxing men's seniors event at the expense of Sevilleno while Davao's fourth gold was courtesy of Aira Marie Tan who ruled shadow boxing women's 24-40 division over teammates Anna Karla Tan and Flordeluna Gamo.
The Davao champions will represent the country along with other titlists from other cities to the Ifma (International Federation of Muaythai Associations) World Virtual Championships on October 1 to 10, 2020, to be participated by over 100 countries.
Astudillo, who also coaches the team, was elated by the impressive showing of the athletes.
"I am very happy with our team's performance and I am so proud of them. Kahit na beginner halos lahat. And I mostly thank God for the victory because I consider it as God's favor and blessings to the team's hard work. God is good all the time," he told this writer via Facebook Messenger.
He also said he's thankful to the Lord for the experience the tournament has given the athletes amid the pandemic for the parents and athletes for their support to represent the city and King's Sword Martial Arts.
He thanked partner schools Arrows and Quivers, Outsource Care and CCF, as well as other coaches John Paolo Galvan, Mark John Montes, Coach Aira Marie Tan and Coach Jake Hernani.
Astudillo said they have to adjust in competing virtually as the internet signal should be taken into consideration. Actual tournaments are a lot more fun, he said, as they can see the crowd watching. Nevertheless, they are thankful for the opportunity to compete and put their training to good use.