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Myanmar cornering boxing golds?

By NICK GIONGCO

SALUDARHost Myanmar is aiming to mess up the boxing competitions in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, decreasing the chances of traditional powers Thailand and the Philippines of dominating the sport.

As host, Myanmar has also been allowed to field a representative in all 14 events (eight men and six women), while preventing all the other countries from doing the same thing.

Initially, Thailand had expressed its desire to win seven gold medals but is now re-thinking if it is doable with the dillema it is facing.

“Different strokes for different folks,“ said chief of mission Jeff Tamayo, confirming that competitions in boxing will begin Dec. 7, four days before the actual opening of the SEAG, and wrap up on Dec. 15, a week prior to the SEAG’s closing.

Thailand has released the roster of its men’s boxing squad to the SEAG and it will be compsed of Chatchai Butdee (51 kg.), Dochair Thati (56), Sailom Ardee (60), Wittichai Masuk (64), Apichet Saensit (69) and Anawat Thongkrathol (81). The women’s will be made up of Sopida Satumran (51 kg.), Plamwilai Laoopium (54), Tassamelee Thongjan (57) and Sudaporn Srisondee (60).

The Philippine squad will be beefed up by veterans Rey Saludar and Charly Suarez.

Like Thailand, the Philippines will also use the world championships in Azerbaijan next month as a buildup for the SEAG.

The Philippines’ chances in the women’s will be hurt by the absence of perennial SEAG gold medalist Alice Kate Aparri, who is pregnant.

While Thailand and the Philippines are out to vie to get a fair share of the gold medals and Myanmar serious is making a dent as its fighters are training in Kazakhstan, Indonesia also wants to make its presence felt.

Indonesia, which had its glory days in the 1980s and 1990s, is eyeing two gold medals.

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