MANILA, Philippines -- Filipina karateka Jamie Lim stayed busy during the quarantine period, keeping herself as fit as possible ahead of a busy campaign in 2021 that includes an Olympic qualification tournament.
Lim was one of the heroes for the Philippines in last year's Southeast Asian Games, ruling the women's +61kg kumite to secure the gold. Her victory was a powerful moment: Lim dedicated her victory to her father, basketball legend Samboy Lim, who has been bedridden since 2014.
Lim and other Filipino karatekas were supposed to compete in the world Olympic qualifying tournament in May, which has since been postponed to June 2021 when the Tokyo Summer Games were rescheduled.
"Noong nakuha na 'yung news na 'yung Olympics and 'yung qualifiers will be moved to next year, 'yung Karate Pilipinas coaches, gumawa po sila ng training program for us," Lim explained during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
"And weekly, meron din kaming Zoom trainings with our coaches and 'yung buong team. I think we're doing well in preparing. Lahat po kami, nakaka-adapt sa situation," she added.
Lim has been making the most of a small gym that she has at home, making sure to remain in top condition while the karate federation waits for the go-signal from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for them to resume sparring.
Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim said they are covered by the recently signed Joint Administrative Order that paved the way for the resumption of training sessions of professional basketball and football teams.
However, the PSC has yet to make their practice venue available, as several of the agency's facilities are used as quarantine facilities by the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lim assured that she remains focused on the task at hand despite not having an opportunity to spar with her teammates for months now.
"I'm just very focused on what's to come. Right now, 'yung biggest focus siyempre is 'yung Olympic qualifiers," said Lim. "It's the biggest competition I'll be joining."
"So I'm doing everything I can, like right now at home, I'm doing whatever I can do. I'm gonna make sure na I'm in the best shape possible by that time. I won't use this as an excuse to rest or parang timeout. I'm gonna use it to my advantage," she said.
The world Olympic qualification tournament for karate will be held in Paris next June. The Philippines is pinning its hopes on Lim, Junna Tsukii, who is another SEA Games gold medalist, and Fil-Am karateka Joane Orbon.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).