PH karatekas improvise In absence of routine
Jamie Lim, one of the country’s Olympic hopefuls for the Tokyo Summer Games, was training in Turkey before the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was classified as a pandemic.
She was with other karate athletes who were supposed to compete in Turkey to prepare for the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris in May.
“In my mind, I was thinking that we lost a tournament that would’ve been for exposure, and a week’s worth of intense training,” she said.
But that changed as the virus swiftly spread to other countries.
“I really didn’t know what kind of training [we’d have],” Lim said of her return to the Philippines, just before Luzon was placed under an enhanced community quarantine.
One thing she understood was the approach, like the COVID-19 pandemic, was going to be extraordinary.
“I was sure it was going to be improvised,” she added.
True enough, “Karate Pilipinas national coaches sent us programs to do at home while in quarantine,” Lim said.
“What we can’t do now is spar with people and practice our reaction, our timing, because we don’t have the luxury of training [physically] with each other. We’re stuck at home.”The 22-year-old karateka revealed that like many other athletes thrust into isolation, she is trying to be creative. And fortunately for her, national mentor Okay Arpa, who remains in his hometown of Turkey, is constantly in touch with her and the rest of the national team.
“He tasked us to send some short video clips of our routines for him to be able to asses our form, things like that,” Lim said. “He’s with us through and through.”
Lim shot to fame as basketball legend Samboy’s overachieving daughter. She graduated with flying colors as a mathematics major at the University of the Philippines, and then later on annexed a gold medal in last year’s Southeast Asian Games.
Now, she’s one of the country’s bets in the sport that is making its debut in the Olympiad.“We’re lucky to have such coaches. They took into consideration everything that is happening,” said Lim, who hopes things get back to normal soon.
“Nothing beats the real thing,” she said. INQ