Filipino karateka Alwyn Batican is optimistic of his chances of qualifying for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in July.
The 23-year-old, 5-foot-7 Batican said that the odds are stacked in his favor.
“My chances are great in a way that the supposed top athletes have qualified already. Whether we admit it or not, when you’re fighting top-level athletes, the judge already knows that person so there’s bias already.”
Batican said the development gave him and the other remaining competitors in the Olympic qualifiers a greater chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Games.
“Here, competitors are at the same level, so the playing field is leveled.”
Batican added that he will also harness the element of surprise.
The Ateneo de Manila University entered a forced hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also did not compete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games tournament proper to give way to a teammate to fly the Philippine flag. His lengthy absence in the scene will make it hard for his rivals to study his game.
“It’s a big factor if you played in many qualifiers, you’re very exposed to other athletes, they could study you, but if you played sparingly, you’re not known, you have a lot of surprise factors.”
Batican, who won a gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games karate test event, said the only thing that could stop him from qualifying for the Olympics would be an injury.
“I’ve been training hard, and every time I was given a chance, I was able to perform. So, for me, my chances are very high. Not to be arrogant, but for me it’s really doable. The only thing that would probably stop me is injury. But if you look at it in terms of statistics or probability, there’s really a chance; it’s very doable.”
Batican is fighting in the 67-kilogram kumite (sparring) event. He is the teammate of other Pinoy Olympic hopefuls Ivan Agustin, Sharief Afif, Joanne Orbon, and 2019 SEA Games gold medalists Junna Tsukii and Jamie Lim.
Except for Orbon and Tsukii, who are in the United States and Japan, all members of the Philippine national karate team have already entered the “Calambubble” at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna to begin their training for the Tokyo Games qualifiers in Paris, in June. The top three competitors in their respective divisions will qualify for the Olympics.
Training abroad is also in their calendar but Batican said everything is subject to last minute changes due to unpredictable air travel restrictions because of the pandemic.
For now, the nationals are assessing their physical capabilities in relation to training.
“I think the first thing we’ll do is the mobility tests, heart rate, to see the training dose, and training levels that we can have, so our coaches can determine where to start,” said Batican.
Date: January 21, 2021 | By: Niel Masoy | Newspaper: Manila Times | Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/01/21/sports/batican-upbeat-of-qualifying-for-the-olympics/830093/?fbclid=IwAR3cYbFXWrd3BirCh9HNadBfwt8rqEkfqqSxulKQa8OJK3hEBERX97Dphz0