Six Filipino karatekas, headed by SEA Games 2013 gold medalist Ramon Antonino Franco, have been endorsed to see action at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korean from August 2-4.
Franco, who is eyed for the -55kg kumite, is joined by SEA Games 2013 silver medalist and Asian Games veteran Mae Soriano for the women’s -55kg kumite, and PinoyHeadline dot Com’s 2013 most favorite Filipino male athlete Orencio James “OJ” delos Santos in the individual kata event.
Completing the team line up are Gay Mabel Arevalo in -50kg kumite, Princess Sicangco in -61kg kumite, and SEA Games 2013 bronze medalist Joanna Ylanan in -68kg kumite.
The PH Karatedo team who has already trained in Iran, are again leaving for Turkey as part of their preparation for the prestigious quadrennial games in Asia.
“With the support of the Philippine Sports Commission, our Karatedo team got to train in Iran, and now we are going to Turkey for another training in preparation for our stint in the Incheon Asian Games,” said Philippine Karatedo Federation Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes.
“PSC’s support in our Asian Games preparation will surely make our team a lot stronger, and hopefully we will be able to deliver a silver or bronze at the Asian Games this year. Although our team is aiming to win gold medals for the country, our forecast is to at least win a silver medal,” added Reyes.
In the 2010 edition of the Asian Games, Rolando Lagman Jr., Noel Espinosa, Ma. Marna Pabillore and Mae Soriano represented the country in Guangzhou, China.
Of the four, only Marna Pabillore made it to the semifinals of the -55kg kumite. She lost her semifinal bout though, and again lost her bronze medal match.
Noel Espinosa on the other hand got to play and win his repechage individual kata match, but lost his bronze medal match.
This year, the Philippine Karatedo Federation hopes to win at least a silver medal for the country.
Of the six endorsed karatekas, no words yet if all of them have passed the criteria of selection of the PH Asian Games task force.