The national karatedo team won one silver and one bronze medal in the 2013 Tehran Karatedo Championships in Tehran, Iran.
National mainstay Niño Franco took the silver in the men’s -55-kilogram event. Franco made it to the finals by scoring three impressive victories in the elimination round.
But he lost to an Iranian fighter in the championship round via a close 0-2 decision.
“It was a good fight. There’s a huge improvement on his [Franco] style and technique and it’s a good sign before the Southeast Asian Games,” said Philippine Karatedo Federation Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes.
Michael Badil delivered the bronze as he finished third in the men’s -75-kilogram division. The other members of the team, Eugene Dagohoy and Jayson Macaalay, failed to advance to the medal round.
The Filipino karatekas are in Tehran to train under Iranian coaches and trainers in preparation for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar December 11 to 22.
“We’re thankful to the Iranian Karatedo Federation for providing the needs of the athletes especially the Iranian coaches who are monitoring their training,” added Reyes.
The team is looking to surpass its one-silver, six-bronze medal finish in the 2011 edition of the biennial meet in Indonesia.
“We want to win gold medals, that’s why we’re sending them abroad to hone their skills,” Reyes said.
EMIL C. NOGUERA