Karatekas arrive, eye 3 Asian Games medals

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The last of the Filipino athletes checked in Monday at the Athletes’ Village of the 17th Asian Games, hoping to deliver the three medals they promised that could somehow jack up the paltry two-silver, two-bronze haul of Team Philippines.

With five days are left in the Games, those remaining in the 150-athlete delegation who are still competing are hard pressed to come out with medal performances.

The karatekas know their task is big, but Philippine Karatedo Federation’s Raymund Lee Reyes remains confident of his wards’ chances.

“Three medals ang promise namin dito,” Reyes said. “Pero sa tingin namin, achievable naman (We promised to win three medals and we think it’s achievable).”

Although Reyes said they expect tough opposition from their Japanese and Iranian rivals, the PKF’s training program administered by an Iranian coach, Parvinfar Ali, had familiarized their athletes on the Iranian approach to the game that had made them a world power.

“They have trained diligently for this event,” Ali said. “Out target is not hard to achieve if we follow our plans.”

The karatekas will be led by gold medal hopeful Mae Soriano in the women’s kumite 55kg.

Soriano has recently won the gold medal in the World K1 Championships in Turkey. This is her second Asiad.

Ramon Antonino Franco is also a gold medal bet in the men’s kumite -50kg. He won the gold medal in the last Southeast Asian Games in the same event.

Although this is his first time to compete in the Asiad, Orencio James delos Santos will try to win the gold medal in the men’s kata.

he is bringing with him a gold medal experience from the World Karatedo Championships held in Cebu two years ago.

Aside from karatedo, the Philippines is also banking on contact sports boxing and taekwondo for the needed gold medals.

Source : Gerry Carpio Philstar.com

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