MANILA — The Philippines is sending 37 athletes to the Asian Games test events in Jakarta, Indonesia starting Thursday.
The test events are usually held by the host country to ensure the smooth conduct of the competition during the tournament proper. The Asian Games is scheduled from Aug. 18 to September 2.
Indonesia will hold test events in athletics, archery, 5×5 basketball, boxing, pencak silat, taekwondo, volleyball, and weightlifting.
The Philippines is invited to join six events but will only field athletes in athletics, boxing, pencak silat, and taekwondo.
Aries Toledo, decathlon gold medalist in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, will spearhead the 12-member athletics team composed of Janry Ubas, Mark Harry Diones, Marestella Sunang, Archand Christian Bagsit, Jomar Udtohan, William Galceran, Francis Medina, Clinton Kingsley Bautista, Ryan Bigyan, Michael Carlo del Prado, and Anfernee Lopena.
Seeing action in pencak silat are 2017 SEA Games gold winner Dines Dumaan (Tanding men’s 45 kg. to 50 kg.), 2016 Asian Beach Games silver medalist Princesslyn Enopia (Tanding women’s 45 kg. to 50 kg.), Yale Alanano, Alvin Campos, Glenn Gunan, Precious Jade Borre, Trisha Marie Leda, Alamohaidib Abad, Cherry May Regalado, and Alfau Jan Esmael Abad.
Rio Olympian Kirstie Elaine Alora will lead the taekwondo squad along with Jenar Torillos, Rhezie Aragon, Rheza Aragon, Keybert Lee Lumbania, Keno Athony Mendoza, Darlene Mae Arpon, Christian Al dela Cruz, and Baby Jessica Canabal.
Alora won the bronze medal (73 kg.) in the 2010 (Guangzhou) as well as the 2014 (Incheon) Asian Games and the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turmenistan.
Also going to Indonesia are boxers Rogen Ladon, who bagged the lightweight silver medal in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, Kit Ceron Garces, Ryan Boy Moreno, Sugar Rey Ocana, and Riza Pasuit.
The 37 athletes will be accompanied by coaches George Noel Posadas, Sean Guevara and Rohsaan Eugene Griffin of athletics, Alexis Martin Patano (Tanding) and Diosdado Cantomayor (Seni) of pencak silat, John Paul Lizardo and Carlos Jose Padilla V of taekwondo, and Elias Recaido Jr. and Romeo Brin of boxing.
Other officials in the team are pencak silat’s Inier Candor (team manager) and jury members Christopher Yabut and Ronald Perena.
Athletics will be held at the main stadium of the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, boxing and taekwondo will be at the Jakarta International Expo, while pencak silat will be at the Padepokan Pencak Silat Centre.
Julian Camacho, appointed chef de mission of Team Philippines in the Asian Games, would also join the Indonesia trip. He was in Bangkok, Thailand last week to attend the SEA Games Federation meeting where he reported the ongoing preparation for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2019 SEA Games. PNA-northboundasia.com