Karate boss Ricky Lim was feeling understandably good by the time he arrived in Paris for the upcoming World Olympic Karate Qualification Tournament (OQT).
For almost three months in Turkey, the President of Karate Pilipinas witnessed the six Filipino karatekas competing for places at the Tokyo Olympics becoming enthusiastic mature competitors for the June 11-13 qualification.
“All of them are in excellent condition. I think we have done enough, the preparation was very good, ” Lim said.
Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) gold medalists Jamie Lim, two-time Pan American champion Joane Orbon, male karateka Ivan Agustin, Shariff Afif, and Alwyn Batican camped out in Turkey while SEAG Philippine-Japanese gold winner Junna Tsukii prepared for qualifying in Japan and Serbia.
“They have fought the best in the Turkish training ground. They are ready to go up to seven bouts to get to the top three and make it to the Tokyo Olympics, ” Lim said.
The top three finishers in each weight class will secure spots in Tokyo after surviving preliminary bouts where the best fighter per group advances to the semifinals.
The four semi-finalists will compete in a round robin tie to determine the top three Olympic qualifiers.
Aside from the six kumite innings, Lim said kata specialists John Enrico Vasquez and Sarah Pangilinan will arrive in Paris within the week for the OQT.
Lim is putting his hopes especially in the “Three Js” (Junna, Jamie and Joane) to get those coveted tickets to Tokyo.
“I’m sure they can do it,” Lim said.
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