SEA Games: Recurve team looks to pick up slack for PH archery
KUALA LUMPUR — Filipino recurve specialists are determined to win the country’s first archery gold medal in the 29th Southeast Asian Games when they open their campaign at National Sports School Synthetic Turf here on Sunday.
This, after their counterparts in the compound events fell short and settled for two bronze medals.
The Filipino archers are aiming to do better, with Beijing Olympics veteran Mark Javier and Nanjing Olympic Youth Games gold medalist Gabriel Moreno leading the charge in the men’s individual competition.
Also vying in the men’s division are seasoned campaigners Florante Matan and Rogelio Tremedal.
Competing in the women’s individual tournament are Kareel Hongitan, Maryqueen Ybanez and Nicole Tagle.
To prepare for their SEA Games stint, the Filipino marksmen went through an intense training camp at the US national archery training center in Salt Lake, Utah. Together with the compound archers, they also trained in Dumaguete for a month before heading to Kuala Lumpur.
“We’re hoping that our intensive training in the US will bear fruit, and somehow we hope to recover from our lackluster efforts in the compound competitions,” said head coach Clint Sayo.
The spotlight will shine brightest on the 19-year-old Moreno, who skipped three months of school as a La Salle freshman to focus on his preparations for the SEA Games.
“My son Gabby (Moreno’s nickname) really wants to win a medal here so he stopped schooling for a while. And he is anything but relentless,” noted his father Freddie, who accompanied the archer here.
Unlike the compound bets, who came home from the Singapore SEA Games with one silver and three bronze medals, the national recurve archers returned to the country empty-handed two years ago.
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