• PH team to compete in SEA Karate tournament

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    The Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) will compete for the Southeast Asian Karatedo Federation Championship in April in Indonesia as part of its preparation for this year’s 29th Southeast Asian Games in August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    PKF Secretary-General Raymond Lee Reyes said on Sunday that all their athletes have already started their training last week under Iranian foreign coach Ali Parvinfar, who guided the Filipino karatekas to three gold medals and one silver in last December’s Turkey Karate Championships.

    “We are preparing now for the Southeast Asian Karatedo Federation Championship this April to enhance our athletes for the upcoming SEA Games. I’m expecting at least 15 athletes to qualify for the SEA Games,” Reyes told The Manila Times during phone interview on Sunday.

    “The SEA Karatedo Championship will be held somewhere in Indonesia and I think it’s going to be in the last week of April.”

    Reyes added they are also inviting some foreign karate athletes from Turkey, Iran, Belgium, France and Netherlands, among others, to attend a two-week karate camp after April to strengthen the national team.

    “We are inviting athletes from Europe to train here together with our athletes to improve their skills. The camp will also allow our athletes to focus in their training,” he said. “We are happy that some of those countries have already committed to us. All our SEA Games athletes are healthy.”

    He also said that they would not invite any Southeast Asian karate athletes to prevent ‘scouting’ before SEA Games.

    Reyes said the PKF is targeting at least two to three gold medals in SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “In the last Myanmar SEA Games four years ago, we won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. We are aiming to surpass that achievement.”

    There was no karate event in the last 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

    The PKF will most likely rely on national athletes Mae Soriano (-55kg women kumite), OJ Delos Santos (kata male), Jayson Macaalay (-55kg kumite male), Rexor Tacay (-67kg male kumite) and JP Bejar (-50kg male kumite) in the upcoming biennial meet.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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