By WAYLON GALVEZ
After months of preparation in various camps abroad, the Philippine karatedo team expressed readiness to slug it out against the world’s finest in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) set June 11 to 14 in Paris, France.
Six members of the team, including Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Jamie Lim, trained rigorously in Turkey for nearly three months before flying to the French capital on Monday.
Lim was accompanied by Joanne Orbon, who also trained in the US, Ivan Agustin, Shariff Afif, Alwyn Batican and Jason Macaala in the Turkey training.
Fil-Japanese Junna Tsukii, who also won a SEA Games gold medal and is ranked No. 8 in the world World Karate Federation (WKF), is likewise fully motivated after her training in Japan and Serbia for months.
The delegation was headed by Richard Lim, also the president of the Karate Pilipinas Sports Federation, Inc.
“Right now we’re in a quarantine, we’ll be staying here for 10,” said Lim. “Our athletes do have a training area, so they’re still working even in quarantine.”
Tsikii, according to Lim, will be arriving in Paris on June 8.
The team will have their PCR test on June 9, which will be submitted when they register for the competition on June 10, or a day before the start of the OQT for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, Lim said that kata participants John Enrico Vasquez and Sarah Pangilinan are arriving in Paris in a few days for the OQT. Pangilinan said is coming from Japan, while Vasquez will fly from Manila.