July 19, 2018, 5:49 am
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Archers take center stage in Asian Cup

ASIAN Games hopefuls will have their last crack at national team slots in the Asian Cup Stage 2 tournament opening on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial baseball park, which has been turned into an archery range for the competition. 

“This event will be the basis of our final selection of the composition of the national team for the Asian Games,” noted World Archery Philippines secretary general Dondon Sombrio, the event’s tournament director, during a press conference yesterday at the Orchid Garden Hotel near the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. 

“The Philippine Olympic Committee is urging us to submit our national team roster, and although there is still an Asian Cup third leg in China, this will likely be our last tournament to assess our national team hopefuls,” explained national women’s team coach Joy Marino. 

National men’s coach Clint Sayo said the WAP has been conducting monthly ranking competitions in both recurve and compound events in the men’s and women’s divisions to determine who will make the cut.

“The archers must meet our minimum qualification scores in both the recurve and compound events,” Sayo pointed out. “Those who made the grade based on their most recent performances are competing in the Asian Cup Stage 2.”

Sombrio said 123 archers from 12 countries, led by traditional powerhouse South Korea, are seeing action in the five-day competition supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Also seeing action are archers from Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and Mongolia, whose archers have been here for more than a week to adjust to the weather.

The Filipino bets are bannered by Youth Olympic Games-bound Nicole Tagle, who won a silver medal in her Southeast Asian Games debut in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last August. She will see action in the women’s recurve event as well as former Asian Cup champion Earl
Benjamin Yap who will compete in the men’s compound competition.

Also vying for the host squad is former SEA Games gold medalist Amaya Paz Cojuangco, who will be gunning for mints in the women’s compound competition of the meet also backed by Globe.   

A total of 24 gold medals will be up for grabs in men’s and women’s recurve and compound events.

“We welcome the opportunity of staging the Asian Cup locally after an absence of 10 years,” noted WAP treasurer John Paul Orbeta, adding the competition is also a test event for the country’s staging of the Southeast Asian Games archery contests next year. 

“We want more people to witness our sport, which does not require height or heft to excel,” said Orbeta. “We also want to make the event popular so we are not charging admission.”

Hostilities open with the qualifying events in the 70-meter distance in the recurve and 50-meter distance in the compound events on Saturday.
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