With or without vaccine, Pinoy Karatekas Turkey-bound for Olympics push

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
With or without vaccine, Pinoy Karatekas Turkey-bound for Olympics push
Jamie Lim and mother Darlene Berberabe (R) during the 30th Southeast Asian Games
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccinated or not, Southeast Asian Games karate gold medalist Jamie Lim and the rest of her fellow Tokyo Games hopefuls are scheduled to leave on March 15 for another training camp in Istanbul, Turkey as part of their preparation for the Olympic qualifier in Paris, France in June.

“Actually, I have no news about it (vaccination) and I don’t think they have plans,” said Lim in an online interview at the Philippine Sports Commission Hour last Friday.

“Of course, we’re going to be super careful going out. There will always be a risk but we’re aware of it and really just need to take care of ourselves, be mindful and do our best to be safe,” she added.

The daughter of former PBA star Samboy Lim along with Tokyo aspirants Sharif Afif, Alwyn Batican and Ivan Agustin have been training for seven weeks now at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

They would fly with national coach Okay Arpa of Turkey to Istanbul and join Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii and Joan Orbon, who will come from Orlando, Florida, for a two-month camp.

Tsukii was the first to fly to Istanbul as the lone Philippine representative to the Premier League set March 11.

Lim said the Istanbul training is an already tested recipe for success as they also trained there two years ago that resulted to two gold, a silver and nine bronze medals in the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games.

“The Turkey training is really effective, the environment is really different. We actually trained there last year before the Paris qualifiers but it was cut short,” said Lim.

Lim knows they would need to thread the proverbial eye of the needle to make the Olympic cut as they would battle around 100 participants per category for that three slots to the Summer Games where they would join early entrants gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter Ej Obiena and pugs Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.

“I know it’s going to be difficult,"



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