Karate: Pinoy karatekas spar with the best ahead of Olympic qualifier

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2021 11:36 PM

The more sparring partners they get, the better are the chances for the members of the Philippine karate team of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

Karate Pilipinas, Inc. president Ricky Lim said that is the main thrust of their 2-month camp in Istanbul where they train with other karatekas in preparation for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris, France set in June.

"The main objective is to get as many sparring partners as they get. Makapagtrain sila, spar with other players going to the qualification," said Karate Pilipinas, Inc. president Ricky Lim.

The 8-man karate squad led by Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Jamie Lim and Joane Orbon have been training in Istanbul since the second week of March inside a bubble setting.

Fellow SEA Games gold medalist Junna Tsukii is set to join them in April.

Lim said they are taking advantage of the presence of high-level athletes, who also competed in Turkey in the Premier League early this month.

"A lot of them stayed here kasi instead of going back to their county kung saan magqu-quarantine pa ulit sila, nagstay na lang sila dito... Kaya madaming country na kasama sa bubble dito, maganda ang training nila dito, high level. Kasama rin ang mga world champions eh," said Lim.

He said it will also be beneficial for Tsukii, who is among the top bets for Tokyo. The Filipino-Japanese bowed out of the Premier League after losing in the first round.

"Kaya kailangan talagang maghasa ng mabuti. Kailangan talaga ng sparring partners para bumalik ang timing, distance, rhythm, everything," he said.

It is crucial for the Pinoy karatekas to face various types of opponents in order to familiarize themselves with the type of opposition they might face in the qualifiers.

"If you're training with the same person again and again, pag may nakalaban kang iba, maninibago ka. Kailangan madaming nakaka-spar na iba-ibang style," said Lim.

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