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Kurash bets to aim high, achieve better

Rolan Llamas
KSFP president Rolan Llamas
Estie Liwanen
SEA Games gold medalist Estie Liwanen

THE Kurash Sports Federation of the Philippines (KSFP), headed by president Rolan Llamas, is looking forward to another good showing in the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam later this year.

But this time, Llamas and the KSFP are confident they can duplicate, If not surpass,their 1-2-5 gold-silver-bronze medal haul in Manila in 2019.

Speaking at the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom, Llamas believes the national kurash athletes have tried their best to prepare for battles despite the many restrictions due to the surge in the coronavirus disease.

Personally, I think we have a very good chance to win more medals this time. Malaki ang tsansa na madagdagan yun gold.at silver medals na nakuha natin dati,” said Llamas during the weekly session sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

While admitting training of contact sports athletes remain limited due to the pandemic, Llamas said the national team members managed to stay in good shape through individual trainings.

The 68-year-old former national judo coach also said the positive outlook of the team helps them cope with the many challenges facing them.

Sa Vietnam, may mga tinanggal silang categories pero may mga na-retain pa rin naman na maganda ang resulta natin nung nakaraang SEA Games kaya mataas pa din ang morale ng mga atleta,” explained Llamas, a retired police sergeant.

Leading the 10-player kurash national team to the biennial event scheduled Nov.21-Dec. 2 in Hanoi are 30th SEA Games women’s under 63kgs gold medalist Estie Gay Liwanen, silver medalists Bianca Mae Estrella and Jenilou Mosqueda and bronze medalist Al Rolan Llamas.

Yun line-up natin, malakas na din. Lalaban yan,” he said.

Llamas said he is planning to seek tle help of tbe PSC and local government units and allow national team members hold bubble training similar to the one being used in Laguna.

Patuloy kaming naghahanap ng paraan para makapag-patuloy ang training ng national team natin. Bagamat may kakulangan tayo sa pondo, ang plano sana ay dalhin ang kanilang pagsasanay sa Baguio City or sa Clark sa Pampanga. Dun na yung bubble camp training,” added Llamas, who served as national judo team coach from 1982 to 2019.

Llamas said although the kurash federation was already accepted as regular member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in 2019, there are still several deserving national athletes who are not receiving a monthly allowance.

Only two of our athletes received an allowance based on the list released recently. Ipapa-alam ko agad ito sa PSC para magawan ng paraan, lalo na para sa atleta,” said Llamas.

He also said the kurash federation intends to promote the spirt in the countryside and attract more practitioners once the health situation improves.

Ang kurash para ding judo, na isa sa mga kinagigiliwang sport ng mga Pilipino. Kaya naniniwala ako na kaya din nating mag-excel dito,” remarked Llamas.

Vietnam dominated kurash in the 30th SEA games, winning seven of 10 gold medals at stake at the Laus Group Event Centre in San Fernando, Pampanga

The Vietname also bagged one silver and two bronzes.

Thailand edged the Philippines for runner-up honors with 2-2-4 collection.

The Philippines was third with 1-2-5 with Liwanen grabbing the gold in the women’s 63 kgs.