Karate chief appointed to shotokan posts

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    KARATE chief Ricky Lim was recently appointed as World Shotokan Federation vice president and Asian Shotokan Federation president by Turkish WSF president and World Karate Federation Executive Council member Esat Delihasan.

    Lim said the appointment was personally done by Delihasan while he was in Istanbul with the country’s Olympic hopefuls training for the world Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled June 11 to 13 in Paris, France.

     “This is a great honor for our country and yours truly. My late stepfather Pocholo Veguillas would have been proud of this appointment,” said Lim, 54, referring to the founder of the Association for the Advancement of Karate.

    “My dad was one of the Shotokan style pioneers in the country and learned from Master Takayuki Mikami,” he added of the well-respected Japanese karateka, who popularized the fighting style throughout the world and taught it in the Philippines to Far Eastern University students in the fifties.

    A two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in kata (forms), Lim, the Karate Pilipinas Sports Foundation president, said that with the new appointment “we will aim to continue promoting the Shotokan style in Asia and make our countries influential in the WSF.”

    Lim, who also bagged a bronze medal in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games, said it was providential the national team was training in Turkey “since some of the other Olympic hopefuls from other countries have also decided to stay there to train for the world Olympic qualifiers.”

    Besides sparring with the other Olympic aspirants, “our own karatekas now have the chance to also size up their potential rivals in Paris.”

    Training in the Turkish capital are Jamie Christine Lim, a gold medalist in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019; Fil-Am Joane Orbon, Jason Macaalay, Alwin Bagtican, and Ivan Agustin, who are all under the supervision of Turkish mentor Okay Arpa.

    Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii, who won a gold medal in a Serbian tournament over the weekend, will join the squad in May after seeing action in the Karate 1 Premier League meet in Lisbon, Portugal, an Olympic ranking qualifying event, at the end of April, according to Lim.