Karate Pilipinas Sports Federation, Inc. Pres. Richard Lim said that the postponement of the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games due to the coronavirus pandemic could actually be “advantageous” for the Philippines.
The AIMAG was supposed to be held from May 21-30 in Bangkok and Chonburi in Thailand, but the Olympic Council of Asia recently decided to reschedule the tilt to 2022 following the call from competing nations.
“I think it will be advantageous for us,” Lim told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast Tuesday.
Lim, who was appointed as the chef de mission for the meet, said that it will allow the athletes to focus more on their various qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Summer Olympics set on July 23-Aug. 8.
At present, karatekas, taekwondo jins, and boxers are inside the bubble in Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna – otherwise known as ‘Calambubble’ – to prepare for their respective qualifiers in the coming months.
“It is also good for us kasi with the Olympic qualifying [tournaments], mas makakapag-concentrate kami roon,” he said in the weekly session powered by SMART, San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), with Upstream Media as webcast partner.
After the Olympics, next up for the Filipino athletes is the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 21-Dec. 2. And for Lim, it will serve as another solid preparation for the AIMAG set on March 10-20 in 2022.
“Ang SEA Games is November, and then ang AIMAG is March. So it’s a good preparation for everybody for the AIMAG kasi they have to join the games in the SEA Games first. So okay naman,” he said.
The last AIMAG took place in 2017 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. There, the Philippines bagged home a total of 30 medals, including a pair of golds courtesy of jiu-jitsu bets Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez.
And the main objective for the next edition of the second-largest Asian multi-sport event is simple: bag more medals.
“Well, of course, the plan is to increase the medals that we’re going to bring home,” Lim said. “But again we have to assess also all the sports that we will be participating in the coming AIMAG.
“We have a long time pa to prepare. We have to sit down with all the NSAs (national sports associations) that will be participating in the AIMAG and what are the chances, so we can make an assessment anong kailangan nila, anong kailangan natin ihanda, tsaka anong exposure. We look at it one step at a time.”