Brutal road to Tokyo for PH karatekas
There will be no letup for the Philippine karatedo team in a last-ditch effort to send its athletes to the Tokyo Olympics.
As soon as they enter the training bubble this coming weekend, the national karatekas will go through a brutal five-month itinerary that will culminate in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament on June 11-13 in Paris, France.
Karate Pilipinas president Ricky Lim said karatekas Jamie Lim, Alwyn Batican, Ivan Agustin and Sharief Afif would stay inside the bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna province, until they leave on Feb. 14 for the WKF (World Karate Federation) Premier League in Lisbon, Portugal.
“Right now, we couldn’t spar face-to-face. But in terms of strength and conditioning, our athletes are in great shape,’’ Lim told the Inquirer.
“They are all raring to get back to training and compete.’’
Junna Tsukii and Joan Orbon will join the team in Lisbon, after which the six Olympic hopefuls open their training camp in Turkey prior to competing in another WKF Premier League on March 9-19 in Azerbaijan.
Tsukii, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist (50 kilogram), has been keeping herself competitive in Japan, while Orbon, who bagged the -61kg bronze in the Philippine-hosted SEA Games, trains in California.
From Azerbaijan, the karatekas will return to Turkey for a 60-day camp before participating in the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (Aimag) in Thailand on May 21-30.
They will go straight to Paris for the Olympic qualifier after the Aimag to acclimatize. INQ
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