Saturday, June 19, 2021

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The country’s young archers, targeting outright berths to the Tokyo Olympics, will have to wait a few more days before embarking on a trip to a training camp in Chinese Taipei.

That is after Taiwan leveled up its lockdown protocols to curb the rise of coronavirus cases there, according to World Archery-Philippines (WAP) secretary general Rosendo Sombrio.

Sombrio said the archers, all teenagers, will await advice from the national federation’s Taiwanese counterparts before flying out to train.

“We have a window, so I still think we can make it,” said Sombrio. WAP secured an arrangement with Taiwan to use its facilities and help with the country’s bid to qualify for Tokyo.

“They (Taiwan) have already qualified their men’s and women’s teams, so they are willing to help us and allow us to use their state-of-the art facilities at National Taiwan University,” said Sombrio.

Back to Dumaguete

If the Taiwan bubble training won’t happen, Sombrio said their Plan B is to continue their training camp in Dumaguete which started earlier this year.

United States-based Riley Silos, Jason Feliciano, Carson Hastie, Phoebe Amistoso and sisters Pia and Gabrielle Bidaure—whose ages range from 16 to 18—will vie for Olympics slots in Paris qualifying from June 18 to 21.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Sombrio, adding the country failed to qualify anyone during the Rio Games in 2016. “But these bunch of kids are good and raring to make it.”

He said the Filipino archers need to at least win a bronze in Paris to qualify in the Olympics, which will only have 64 men and 64 women in its recurve competitions.

But Sombrio is confident that with more countries already filling up teams quota, it frees up slots in individual category for the Filipino archers.

The country is hoping to qualify at least two archers in the Olympics. The last time the Philippines had archers in the Games was in London 2012 with Mark Javier and Rachelle dela Cruz.


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