MANILA, Philippines – Four kumite team members of the Philippine national karatedo squad saved up on their cash allowances in their recent Japan training camp to pay their way and compete in the 19th MILO International Karate Championship 2018 held last June 29 to July 1.
“They saved their [allowances], so they can buy tickets and an Airbnb room for the 4 of them. Nothing grand, just to be able to compete and explore our intensive training in Japan,” said current team representative Richard Lim of the Association for the Advancement of Karatedo Philippines (AAK) in a text message to Rappler.
Sharief Afif, John Paul Bejar, Oliver Mañalac, Engene Dagohoy joined the Open championships on their own accord to gain exposure.
Afif bagged a silver medal in the -84kg division, while 2017 SEA Games silver medalist Bejar garnered a bronze in the -60kg category.
Mañalac and Dagohoy failed to bring home medals, but they will move on to the next tournament with more learnings.
The national karatekas accused the Philippine Karatedo Federation national sports association (PKF-NSA) of withholding their allowances that led to its suspension by the World Karatedo Federation.
Under the care of Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, the national karatedo team will be sent to Amman, Jordan for the 2018 Asian Karate Championships set July 10-15. – Rappler.com