By Jean Malanum

WORLD-CLASS ATHLETE. Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii (left) shows children the right technique during a karate class in Japan. Tsukii won the women’s -50kg gold medal at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, United States. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The 12th edition of the World Games which will take place in China next year will feature 35 sports.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) made the announcement on Monday after finalizing the sports program of the Aug. 7 to 17 competition to be hosted by Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province which is also home to the famous Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Approved for inclusion in the 2025 World Games during the IWGA Annual General Meeting in Spain last May were air sports, archery, billiards, boules, canoe, dancesport, fistball, floorball, flying disc, gymnastics, handball, ju-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, korfball, lacrosse, life saving, muaythai, orienteering, powerlifting, racquetball, sambo, softball, sport climbing, squash, tug-of-war, underwater sports, waterski and wakeboard and wushu.

Added to the program were cheerleading (double pom), triathlon (duathlon), American football (flag football), powerboating (motosurf), and wheelchair rugby.

Wheelchair rugby, flag football and duathlon were on the program in 2022 (Birmingham, United States). Duathlon was in the 2013 Games (Cali, Colombia).

The disciplines to be played for the first time in 2025 are powerlifting’s classic, roller sports’ freestyle, kickboxing’s point fighting, underwater sports’ freediving and wushu’s sanda. Cable wakeboard was first played in 2005 (Duisburg, Germany) while dragon boat was an invitational sport in 2009 (Kaohsiung).

The Philippines has participated at the World Games since 1981, winning its first gold medal courtesy of Carlos Biado (men’s 9-ball singles event) in 2017 (Wroclaw, Poland). Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii also delivered a gold medal in the women’s kumite -50kg category last year. (PNA)