Karate taps Turk coach

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Karate Pilipinas Turkish Levent Aydemir (third from left) will help the Philippine karate team rev up for the 32nd SEA Games and the 19th Asian Games towards the end of the year. Karate president Ricky Lim (second from left) and other officials look forward to a harmonious relationship with Aydemir.

Karate Pilipinas Sports Foundation Inc. tapped a new foreign coach in the accomplished Levent Aydemir of Turkey for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May.

Karate president Ricky Lim told Daily Tribune that Aydemir’s experience and work ethic will be able to help the Philippine team better its paltry production — eight bronze medals — in the Hanoi SEA Games last year.

Aydemir was a former Turkish national team head coach who helped his nation take home one silver and three bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Aydemir was responsible for the success of Turkey’s world champion Serap Özçelik and Olympic silver medalist Eray Şamdan.

Lim said the Turkish mentor already adjusted their training schedules to be in synch with the tournaments they are planning to take part in.

“The program he has is good. For example, we have no breaks on the weekends because those are the days when tournaments happen. Instead, we take breaks on Mondays,” Lim said.

“He is acclimatizing the players in that case. I can see he has a plan.”

“They are conditioning the players that the weekend is not for rest but for fights.”

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