Rafael Vidal is only PH karateka competing in Asia-Pacific Karate tilt
Cebuano karateka Rafael Vidal will be the lone Filipino competitor in the upcoming Hayashi-ha 4th Asia-Pacific Karate and Kobudo Championships this weekend in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Vidal’s father and trainer Reynante Vidal told Cebu Daily News that the entire delegation of the Hayashi-ha Shitoryukai Philippines backed out of the competition due to lack of funds and support, leaving his son as the lone representative of the country in the tournament that will be participated by karatekas from Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Dubai UAE, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, Pakistan, Maldives, China, Australia, Vietnam, India, Iran and host Sri Lanka.
He said that his son’s plane ticket and accommodation for Sri Lanka will be shouldered by him with the help of some private entities. The team also raised funds for him.
“We are very thankful to the people who gave us the support for this very important tournament abroad. Without them there will be no Filipino competitor there,” said Vidal.
Vidal said that Team Philippines originally planned to send three other Filipino karatekas to the tournament.
The 12-year-old Rafael and his father will be leaving for Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Despite the pressure of being the only Filipino competitor there, Vidal said that his son is more than prepared to take on foreign opponents in the two-day tournament.
Rafael will vie in the kumite and kata competitions in his age group.
“He trained for three months for this tournament,” said the older Vidal. “We really based his training on the scientific way. We did kata drills, aquatic training, agility training and strength and conditioning training.”
The young Vidal is expected to bank on his experience in competing in various tournaments. Earlier this year, he won two gold medals in both the Adidas International Karatedo Championships in Metro Manila and the Milo International Karatedo Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Among those helping fund Vidal’s trip are Luzviminda Corporation, Joed Japanese restaurant, Aledan printing, Insular Square, MBS Tavern, Hayashi-ha Visayas and Howard Lazarte.
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