Orbon, Lim now sparring in Istanbul
Karatekas Joane Orbon, Jamie Lim and Junna Tsukii are the country’s brightest bets in the coming Olympic qualification tournament, and are medal prospects should they make the Games in Tokyo.
“They will surely face the toughest opponents in their respective weight categories in the Olympics,’’ said Karate Pilipinas president Ricky Lim, who is with the national karatekas in Turkey where the team has set up camp for 60 days. “I believe their chances of winning a medal are good.’’
Orbon, who decided to play for the Philippines after an impressive stint with Team USA, has defeated the strongest foes in her division while Lim, a Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) gold medalist, performed exceptionally well in tournaments prior to the COVID-19 health crisis.
“The way they performed prior to the lockdown showed that they are capable of qualifying and could probably earn a medal, too, in Tokyo,’’ said the local karate chief.
While Lim and Orbon have begun to spar with the members of the Turkish national team, Tsukii will join them in the camp to complete Philippine karatedo’s renowned Triple J.
Tsukii, the women’s kumite 50kg SEAG champion, is bidding to qualify in the 55kg division in Tokyo and might touch base with the team after the Premier League in Lisbon, Portugal, early next month.
Orbon and Lim won the gold in Ukranian Karate Premier League Kharkiv Open last year and are looking to qualify in the -61kg and +61kg in Tokyo, respectively.