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Karate Pilipinas will ramp up its preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, sending members of the national team who are vying for spots in the Summer Games to Turkey for training.
Select members of the karate team are currently gearing up for Olympic qualifiers at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, where the national teams of boxing and taekwondo are also training.
Filipino karatekas who are in the Laguna bubble are Jamie Lim, Ivan Agustin, Alwyn Batican, Sharif Afif, and Jason Macaalay.
After training in Laguna, the karate team will fly to Portugal on February 4 for the Karate Premier League before it goes to Istanbul, Turkey, to train there until May 15.
“Turkey has one of the highest levels for karate in terms of sparring. They’re also good in kata,” Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“The sparring in Turkey, the training system is very high level.”
According to Lim, the Filipino karatekas will compete in pocket tournaments there and will train with the Turkish national team.
It is also in Turkey where the national team is expected to reunite with other Olympic hopefuls Junna Tsukii and Joane Orbon.
Tsukii, who is in Japan, and Orbon, who is in the United States, did not join the Laguna bubble due to strict travel restrictions, Lim said.
Lim said the Turkey training will be crucial for the Filipino karatekas’ quest in the Karate Olympic Qualification Tournament that will be held in Paris, France in June.
The top 3 karatekas from each of the 8 categories in the Paris qualifiers will qualify for the Tokyo Games. – Rappler.com