160-strong Philippine delegation planned for Asian martial arts meet

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
160-strong Philippine delegation planned for Asian martial arts meet

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is eyeing to send a 160-strong delegation in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) early next year in Bangkok and Chonburi, Thailand with hopes of replicating its Olympic triumph. 

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino said the contingent boasts a slew of potential medalists out to provide a solid follow-up to the country’s best Olympic performance in history in Tokyo last month.

"The objective is to ride the momentum of the Tokyo Olympics success,” said Tolentino, adding the goal of surpassing the country’s two-gold medal haul in the 2017 AIMAG held in Turkmenistan.

Jiu-jitsu athletes Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez won the country’s only gold medals then. The Philippines also copped 14 silver and 14 bronze mints in 17 sports it participated.

This time around, the country will participate in 21 of the 31 AIMAG events brimming with supreme confidence with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz leading the way.

Diaz won the silver in the last AIMAG but got back with a bang after reigning supreme in 2018 Asian Games and the Tokyo Olympics last month.

Other Filipino medalists back then includes sprinter Eric Cray, billiards aces Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit, jin Elaine Alora, weightlifter Kristel Macrohon with Janelle Frayna and Shania Mendoza of chess.

The Philippines will participate in aquatics, 3x3 basketball, billiards, bowling, chess, dancesport, esports, indoor athletics, indoor rowing, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay, pencak silat, sambo, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding, taekwondo and wrestling.

The AIMAG, set to gather 45 countries, was originally slated May 21-30 this year but was pushed back to March 10-20 due to the pandemic.


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