The 12-man national karatedo team will travel to Europe as the final phase of its training for the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) secretary-general Raymund Lee Reyes said that the karatekas would undergo three-week training sessions in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France starting July 29.
“This is part of our training program for our athletes who are bound for SEA Games. We want our karatekas to be really fit and ready for the tournament,” said Reyes, also the team manager of the squad.
Karatekas Mae Soriano, Miyuki Tacay, John Paul Bejar, Rexor Tacay, John Micahel Vincent Badil, Engene Stoner Dagohoy, Jayson Ramil Macaalay, Carmelo Patricio Jr., OJ Delos Santos, Sharief Afif, Erica Samonte, and Kimverly Madrona will be part of the trip.
The national team is under the tutelage of head coach Ali Parvinfar and deputy Ireneo Soriano Jr.
Half-Japanese Junna Tsukii, meanwhile, will continue her training in Japan before flying to Malaysia for the competition.
A total of 13 karatekas are vying for top honors in the 11-nation tournament slated on August 19 to 30.
Reyes said their goal is to surpass its 2013 SEA Games finish of one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal.
“That’s our goal. I know our athletes are well trained and with God’s guidance, we can achieve our goals,” said Reyes, adding that host Malaysia and Indonesia will be the nations to beat in the biennial meet.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID