The country’s young archers, who are squarely targeting spots for the Tokyo Olympics, will have to wait a few more days before embarking on a trip to a training camp in Chinese Taipei.

This is after Taiwan leveled its lockdown protocols to curb the rise in coronavirus cases there, according to World Archery-Philippines (WAP) Secretary General Rosendo Sombrio.

Sombrio said the archers, all teenagers, will wait for advice from Taiwanese counterparts in the national federation before taking the plane to train.

“We have a window so I still think we can make it happen,” Sombrio said. WAP has secured an agreement with Taiwan to use its facilities and help the country qualify for Tokyo.

“They (Taiwan) have already qualified their male and female teams, so they are ready to help us and allow us to use their state-of-the-art facilities at National Taiwan University,” Sombrio said.

Return to Dumaguete

If Taiwan’s bubble training does not happen, Sombrio has said his Plan B is to continue his training camp in Dumaguete which started earlier this year.

Americans Riley Silos, Jason Feliciano, Carson Hastie, Phoebe Amistoso and sisters Pia and Gabrielle Bidaure, aged 16 to 18, will compete for Olympic places in Paris from June 18 to 21.

“It’s going to be tough,” Sombrio said, adding that the country failed to qualify anyone at the Rio Games in 2016. “But these young people are good and eager to succeed.”

He said Filipino archers need to at least win a bronze medal in Paris to qualify for the Olympics, which will only have 64 men and 64 women in its recurve competitions.

But Sombrio is convinced that with more countries already filling the team quota, he is freeing up places in the individual category for Filipino archers.

The country hopes to qualify at least two archers for the Olympics. The last time the Philippines had archers at the Games was in London 2012 with Mark Javier and Rachelle dela Cruz.

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