The Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) welcomed the inclusion of karate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We are happy in the PKF – National Sports Association as well as the Philippine karate community since we have waited for this for so long. We will now plan how to upgrade our program to help our athletes qualify for the Olympics. We will work harder,” said Raymund Lee Reyes, PKF secretary-general in an interview with The Manila Times on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced during the 129th IOC session on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil the inclusion of skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing, and baseball/ softball as well as karate in the quadrennial meet.
National team player James De Los Santos said that he would immediately begin preparing for the Games.
“Time to start the four-year long journey. It is a dream come true,” he said.
The International Olympic Committee voted unanimously for the proposal, which applies only to the Tokyo Games, where 33 sports will now be contested.
“This is really a milestone in the innovation of the Olympic program which we can then experience in four years from now in Tokyo 2020,” IOC president Thomas Bach told delegates in Rio de Janeiro.
The five extra sports — also including women-only softball — add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Tokyo roster and give it a strong experimental flavor.
IOC members voted 85-0 in favor but not before some concerns about baseball, whose US-based stars are not confirmed for the Games.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID AND AFP