Boxers, taekwondo jins, karatekas set to train in Calamba bubble

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2020 02:41 PM

Boxers, taekwondo jins, karatekas set to train in Calamba bubble 1

MANILA, Philippines -- The country's boxers, taekwondo jins, and karatekas who are still looking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics will start training in a "bubble" environment at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna next month.

William "Butch" Ramirez, the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, confirmed Thursday that these three national sports associations (NSAs) have received the go-signal to train at the facility in Calamba.

Inspire has previously hosted the training camp of the TNT Tropang Giga ahead of the resumption of the PBA season, as well as the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup.

"We will be experimenting with three NSAs, some sort of bubble training," Ramirez said in an appearance on "Sports on Air."

Sixteen boxers, five taekwondo jins, and eight karatekas will enter the "bubble" starting in January for a 90-day camp.

All members of the delegation are required to follow the strict guidelines put together by the PSC, which Ramirez said are even more stringent than those imposed by the PBA during its recent All-Filipino Cup in Clark, Pampanga.

"Now, if this succeeds, with the 10 guidelines and the protocols, we might expand to all qualified and deserving athletes," said Ramirez, noting that other Filipino athletes are also looking to train for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2021.

At the moment, however, only those who have "big chances to qualify" for next year's Games in Tokyo will train in the bubble in Calamba.

"It's not absolute, the rules are very flexible," said Ramirez. "But meron kaming parameters."

Four Filipinos have already qualified to the Tokyo Games -- boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, and gymnast Caloy Yulo. Of the four, only Magno remains in the Philippines; Marcial is in the United States, training with Freddie Roach, while Obiena is in Italy and Yulo has been based in Japan for some time now.

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