Six members of the national karate team are still pursuing their dreams of making it to the Tokyo Olympic.
Led by former US national team member Joane Orbon, the six karatekas will soon be entering qualifiers once the schedules are available and the many restrictions set to the control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic have eased.
“All six are training. They train every day except Sundays,” said Karate Pilipinas Sports Federation, Inc. president Richard Lim.
Orbon, who is based in California, is seeking a slot in the women’s 61kgs kumite, along with Jamie Lim (women’s +61 kgs) and Junna Tsukii (women’s 50kgs kumite).
Alwyn Batican (men’s -67kgs), Ivan Agustin (men’s -75kgs) and Sharief Afif (men’s +75kgs) are also getting ready in their respective categories in the men’s division.
For those in the Philippines, online training will have to do for now.
But this will change once the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases gives the green light for physical training to take place.
“They have online training as a group, and they have individual training with the strength and condition coaches,” added Lim.
National coach Okay Arpa, who is from Turkey, is leading the training sessions, with strength and conditioning coach Sammy Montalvo helping keep all six in shape.