Filipino athletes face the challenge of matching, or even surpassing, their achievement in the Tokyo Olympics when they compete in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) next year.
Chief of mission Ricky Lim yesterday said they will deploy a total of 160 athletes in the prestigious tourney that would be held in Bangkok and Chonburi from 10 to 20 March.
A total of 21 sports will be played with the country seeing action in aquatics, 3×3 basketball, billiards, bowling, chess, dancesports, E-sports, indoor athletics, indoor rowing, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay, pencak silat, sambo, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding taekwondo and wrestling.
The country is ranked No. 18 with a total haul of eight gold, 26 silver and 35 bronze medals in the first three editions of this event that is being ruled by China, Thailand and Kazakhstan in the all-time medal tally.
Lim said they will go all out to capitalize on the country’s success in the previous Summer Games, where it emerged with one gold, two silver and a bronze medal.
“We had a very nice performance last Olympics so the bandwagon is to improve the results. So we have to double our efforts,” Lim told Daily Tribune in a conversation.
“We have to push the NSA (national sports associations) and their athletes harder.”
The last time the country competed in the AIMAG, it collected two gold medals courtesy of jiu-jitsu bets Annie Ramirez and Meggie Ochoa with Monsour del Rosario as chief of mission.
Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz was also part of the delegation in which she bagged a silver medal.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino said athletes are more inspired to compete following their impressive performance in the Olympics.
“The objective is to ride the momentum of the Tokyo Olympics and surpass our two gold medals won in the last AIMAG in Turkmenistan,” he said in a statement.
Lim added that they will use the AIMAG as a gauge for the Asian Games set from 10 to 25 September in Hangzhou, China.
“From these championships, we will be able to measure our chances for the Asian Games. Remember, we had good results in the last Asian Games so we have to do better,” Lim said.
“This upcoming AIMAG will be a good testing ground for our athletes. The Asian Games will be in September so after AIMAG, we can still make the necessary adjustments.”
Date: September 15, 2021 | By: Ivan Suing | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2021/09/15/olympic-success-to-inspire-aimag-bets/?fbclid=IwAR0sw_G1f0iE0FkoabTjeme55f5eFrAWjGm2iBKxOxr-QRJZ4flXnjDCm1k