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'Shaolin' relishes bronze finish in international debut

Lemuel P. Maglinte (The Freeman) - September 9, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Cebuano kickboxing prospect Ken ‘Shaolin’ Caniga brought pride and honor to the country after bagging bronze medal in the prestigious International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur-Royal World Cup recently Bangkok, Thailand.

At a tender age of 11, Caniga became the first Cebuano to win a medal in the Royal World Cup that were participated in by elite national team members from 127 countries all over the world.

“The competition was really tough and the participants were the elite of the elites coming from their own national teams but Ken really showed skills and courage during the whole competition,” said Caniga’s head coach and uncle Master Benigno ‘Ekin’ Caniga Jr. in a press conference the other night at the Yaw-Yan ArDigma headquarters along Sanciangko Street, this city.

Caniga was a last minute recruit of the Philippine team having joined in their training camp for only two months. Inspite of that, he became one of the five Pinoys who delivered a medal.

After winning in the preliminary round, Caniga advanced to the quarterfinals of the junior cadet (30 kgs.) division where he secured the bronze by beating a bigger Italian fighter in Dascanio Stanislav via unanimous decision.

He then fought for the gold medal round but was outpointed by the more experienced Thai Kanunon Thanapon.

“The Thai was considered as one of the top fighters in his division with more than 50 fights already, but Ken still put up a good fight against him,”Master Ekin said. “Ken cried after that defeat but I know he will learn a lot from that and eventually come back strong.”

“At first I was nervous but I was never scared. My loss against the Thai taught me to focus more on my weakness and train more,” said Ken, a two-time national champion in the Batang Pinoy.

Following his stellar performance, Caniga will now be a full time national team member and will be training for another international stint in the IFMA World Championships to be held on May 19 next year in Sweden.

“This time, it’s a bigger tournament because there will be more countries that will participate and Ken, together with the Philippine team, will prepare hard for their campaign in Sweden.”

Given his nephew’s skills and potential, Master Ekin believed that Ken has a bright future and a chance of representing the the country in the Olympics someday. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BATANG PINOY CANIGA CANIGA JR. CEBUANO DASCANIO STANISLAV INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF MUAY THAI AMATEUR-ROYAL WORLD CUP KEN MASTER BENIGNO MASTER EKIN ROYAL WORLD CUP
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