National sports association (NSA) executives expressed disappointment over the postponement of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) that was supposed to be held this May in Bangkok.
Karate Pilipinas president Ricky Lim said the prestigious continental tourney has been on their calendar and would serve as their preparation for their Olympic qualifying tournament in Paris in June.
He said Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Jamie Lim and Joan Orbon and the rest of the team are gearing up to see action in the AIMAG, but with the decision of the Olympic Council of Asia to move the event to January of next year due to rise of coronavirus infection in the region, they have no choice but to stay home and train among themselves inside the bubble that would start this Sunday.
“Our athletes are supposed to compete there because we are part of the AIMAG,” Lim said, who was supposed to serve as AIMAG chief of mission.
“It’s a big championship event, knowing that more than 20 Asian countries will be competing, including Japan, China and South Korea.”
He added that the AIMAG could have been a big boost to their preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“This event could have been a great assessment on the skill level of our athletes before the SEA Games,” he said.
“Since it was planned to be held midway of the year, there we can see which members of the team still need more training and exposure.”
Muay secretary general Pearl Managuelod share the same sentiment, saying that its cancellation would surely have an impact on their buildup for the biennial meet.
She added that with powerhouse countries such as Vietnam and Thailand already in the thick of their SEA Games preparation, an international exposure such as AIMAG is very valuable to their buildup.
“We were really hopeful about that event. We already even have our lineup but it was postponed to 2022,” Managuelod said.
“It was a bit of disappointment, but we’re very hopeful that we can get other international competitions.”
“We’re really behind, but I am very confident with what the team can do. We’re crossing our fingers that we can still get one or two tuneup games before SEA Games.”