THE Philippine karate team delivered a medal as promised as John Enrico Vasquez and Sakura Alforte each scooped up a bronze medal in the men and women Under-21 individual kata of the 2021 Asian Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday.

Mr. Vasquez, a double bronze medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, edged Abdullah Alsalem of Saudi Arabia, 25.54-24.08, while Ms. Sakura edged Lo Sum Man of Hong Kong and Milana Safynbaeva of Kyrgyzstan to snatch the pair of bronzes.

And more are expected to come with World Championship veterans Junna Tsukii and Jamie Lim competing in the women’s -50-kilogram and -61kg divisions of the kumite event, respectively.

“We have four more events coming and we have a pretty good chance of getting a podium finish with Junna Tsukii and Jamie Lim,” said Karate Pilipinas President Richard Lim.

The 24-year-old Ms. Lim will try to ride the crest of her solid effort in last month’s World Championships in Dubai where she emerged the best Asian performer while Ms. Tsukii should be one of the favorites being the No. 4 in the world and No. 2 in Asia behind Japan’s Miho Miyahara in her class.

Also plunging into battle are Alwyn Batican in the men’s -67kg and Remon Misu in the women’s -61kg U21.

Ms. Lim also said they are using the four-day meet, which was being bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), as an indicator on how the country will perform in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games next year. — Joey Villar