Veteran campaigner Mae Soriano underscored her readiness for the Asian Games as she grabbed a gold medal in the 11th International Karate Tournament held at the Ice Hockey Arena in Erzurum, Turkey.
Soriano survived Cagla Baris of Turkey in the finals, 4-3, to rule the women’s -55 class. She defeated Ezgi Kurt of Turkey in the first round, 6-4, and Aabasi Turkano of Iran in the second round, 8-0, to advance to the finals.
Not as lucky was Southeast Asian Games reigning champion Nino Franco who scored a first-round victory but fell short in the second round.
The team is currently in Turkey for a training camp under three Iranian coaches Ali Parvinfar, Navid and Mohammad Ali Pirani.
“It’s a good indication that she’s all set for the Asian Games. We are now in a training camp here in Turkey with some world class coaches and trainers as part of our preparations for the Asian Games,” said Philippine Karatedo Federation Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes.
Besides Soriano and Franco, the other Asian Games-bound athletes who are training in Turkey are OJ Delos Santos, Princess Sicangco, Princess Ylanan and Mabel Arevalo.
Reyes said they are aiming to win at least three medals including one gold in the Asian Games scheduled on September 19 to October 4 in Incheon, South Korea. In the 2010 edition held in China, the team failed to win a medal.
“We’re in high spirits right now with the support and training that we’re getting. We’re hoping to win at least one gold and two more medals of any color,” added Reyes.