Former wushu world champ Rene Catalan bags gold in sambo to earn chance for PH team in AIMAG
Rene Catalan, an MMA fighter for ONE Championship, earned a chance to represent the Philippines in the sambo competition at the upcoming AIMAG. Photo from ONE

RENE Catalan gained a shot at a berth for the Philippine team set to compete in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) after winning gold in the sambo competition of the Philippine Pre-AIMAG recently at the Harrison Plaza.

The 36-year-old Catalan, a four-time world champion in wushu, carried the Catalan MMA Club in the event and defeated Danilo Dilag of Spar Fight Institute in the adult men's 52kg final to win gold and earn a chance at representing the country once again in a different sport.

Sambo is a martial arts and combat sports that traces its roots in Russia and will be played in the AIMAG on September 15 to 24 in Turkmenistan.

Catalan also competes as an MMA fighter in ONE Championship where he recently won against Adrian Matheis last January to improve his record to 2-2.

Other winners in sambo are Dolores Meek (adult women 60kg), Maribel Angan (adult women 52kg), Genil Francisco (adult men -57kg), and Rogelio Enumerables Jr. (adult men 66kg)

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports