Karate hopes to find redemption in Asiad
Five karatekas from the national team will try to erase the stigma attached to their sport in the coming Asian Games.
Mae Soriano is ready to rise to the challenge in the women’s kumite (-55kg) as the 2014 Incheon Asiad bronze medalist aims for a higher finish on the medal podium this time.
Jayson Ramil Macaalay, silver performer in the men’s kumite -60kg during last year’s Indonesia Southeast Asian Games, also provides an opportunity for the Philippines to capture its first gold medal in the biggest gathering of topnotch athletes in the continent.
Likewise seeking to attract attention are 2017 SEA Games bronze medalist Junna Tzukii (-50kg), Sharief Afif (84kg) and kata specialist Orencio James Virgil Delos Santos (-84kg).
Japanese coach Tsukii and fellow national coach Norman Montalvo will accompany the team during the Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 Games set in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.
Since karatedo got included in the 45-nation quadrennial sportsfest in 1994 Hiroshima, the Philippines has had a couple of near-gold performances.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) disburses the allowances directly to the athletes after the government sports agency decided to suspend the financial assistance of the Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF).
The PSC has asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the liquidation of funds by the PKF after several karatekas complained they failed to receive the full allowance due them during the team’s 20-day training last year in Germany.
Documents provided by PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez showed the PSC allocated P3,217,874.75 for the entire trip with each member of the team allotted a daily allowance of US$90, or $1,800 for 20 days.
Fernandez said some of the athletes claimed they only received 400 euros, or roughly $470, with Reyes as disbursing officer. PKF officials, however, said everything was accounted for and no money was lost.
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