Manila, Philippines – Excellent performance, good training and good behavior will be the basis of the coaching staff in selecting athletes to the Asian Junior Judo Championship slated next month in Chinese Taipei.
“We send judokas who possess fine qualities with good chances of winning medals because this is an Asian level tournament,“ said head coach Roland Llamas Ballesteros.
Crack athletes from more than 50 countries are participating in the tournament for judokas 19 years old and below dubbed as the “Olympics of Judo“ last held in Abu Dhabi.
“We are focusing on grassroots level to tap young judokas,“ added Ballesteros.
“John Baylon has already retired and the rest of the members of the national team are getting older. We have to tap young promising judokas to fill up their shoes.“
Baylon failed in his quest for a 10th straight Southeast Asian Games gold since 1991, losing to a younger rival in the 26th edition in Indonesia last year where the sport won two gold medals through Nancy Quillotes and Helen Dawa. (Clyde Mariano)