Philippines to send 160 athletes to Thailand Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) finished selecting the 160 athletes who will compete in the sixth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) to be held from March 10 to 20, 2022, in Bangkok and Chonburi in Thailand. 

The Philippines will see action in 21 out of the 31 sports and hopes to improve from its 19th place finish of two golds, 14 silvers, and 14 bronze medals with its 105-athlete delegation in 2017.

“We have put together a delegation whose members are all potential for the medals,” POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Tuesday,  September 14, as he stressed that the focus of selection is on individual and weight-categorized sports.

“The objective is to ride the momentum of the Tokyo Olympics success and surpass our two gold medals won in the last AIMAG in Turkmenistan in 2017,” Tolentino added.

World champion jiu-jitsu athlete Meggie Ochoa (women Ne-waza -45 kgs) and Annie Ramirez (women Ne-waza -55 kgs) bagged the country’s two gold medals won in the 2017 staging in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 

The 21 sports where Filipino athletes will compete include aquatics, 3x3 basketball, billiards, bowling, chess, dancesport, esports, indoor athletics, indoor rowing, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay, pencak silat, sambo, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding, taekwondo, and wrestling.

The 2021 AIMAG was slated to be held from May 21 to 30, 2021, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 surges in Southeast Asia. 

Tolentino said he will present the composition of Team Philippines with chef de mission Ricky Lim, president of the karate association, during the online meeting among national Olympic committee presidents and chefs de mission on Wednesday, September 15.

Forty-five countries, including 18 from Oceania, are expected to participate in the continental games. 

China continues to be the all-time medals winner in the multi-sport event with a total medal haul of 419 – 204 golds, 119 silver, and 96 bronze after five stagings. Thailand is second with with 359 medals (108-106-145), and Kazakhstan at third with 305 (103-92-110).

The Philippines ranks No. 18 with a total medal haul of 69 (8-26-35). – Rappler.com