Chef de mission Monsour del Rosario said the country has a good chance of surpassing its previous performance in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) slated on September 17 to 27 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The former taekwondo star said Filipino athletes have big potential in winning medals in combat sports.
“Most of the countries have only few players in combat sports. That’s why we decided to focus and give importance to it so we can produce new heroes from there,” said del Rosario during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
“Don’t discount the Philippine team. I know our athletes are warriors in themselves because they really want to fight for our country. Who knows we might find a new hero from these combat sports,” he added.
A total of 62 countries are participating in 21 events in AIMAG.
A qualifying tournament for AIMAG will be held at the Harrison Plaza Manila from May 29 to June 2.
Among the featured sports in the qualifying tournament are kurash, sambo, kickboxing, belt wrestling and traditional wrestling. These events have no existing national sports association.
The other events in AIMAG are 3×3 basketball, indoor athletics, bowling, chess, track cycling, chess, cue sports, dancesport, equestrian, futsal, jiu jitsu, muay thai, swimming, taekwondo, indoor tennis, and weightlifting.
The Philippine Sports Commission has allotted P19 million solely for the airfare of the country’ delegation to the AIMAG that will not exceed 200, according to del Rosario.