THE World Archery Philippines (WAP) hopes to hit the bullseye in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam next year.
And despite the limited preparations due to the worldwide lockdown in sports following the coronavirus pandemic, the national archers are confident they could do well and win as many as five gold medals in both the recurve and compound competitions.
WAP secretary-general Rosendo Sombrio believes the Filipino archers are ready to take the challenge.
“We have a lot of young and talented archers not only in Dumaguete, but all over the country. WAP is doing its best to find these archers and train them for international competitions, like the coming SEAG (Southeast Asian Games) in Hanoi,” said Sombrio during the 15th “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports” via Zoom.
“In 2021 SEAG in Vietnam, we’re looking at winning about five gold medals in the recutve and compound categories. Kaya natin yun,” added Sombrio during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
Last year, Vietnam and Thailand captured three gold medals each while Indonesia bagged two golds during the SEAG archery competitions held at Clark Parade grounds in Pampanga.
The Vienamese also pocketed two silvers and one bronze to edge the Thais for the overall championship.
Host Philippines and Malaysia took one gold medal each.
The 60-year-old Sombrio, however, said everything is behind them now.
“Sa Vietnam, gusto talaga namin makabawi,” claimed Sambrio. ”Una, maganda yun naging performance nila kesa sa atin dito sa Manila last December. Pangalawa, homecourt pa nila next year.”
“Actually, we’re not expecting na magkaka-medal ang Vietnam dahil mahina sila nun mga nakaraang competitions. Ang magaling sa SEAG is Malaysia, pero kahit yun magagaling nila na nag Olympics na, hindi nakapasok.”
Sombrio claimed the other SEA countries changed their athletes as early as four years ago.
“Sa atin, medyo bumagal yun pag-palit natin ng mga archers. Pero OK na ngayon. Madami na bumabalik na magagaling at madami na din tayong nakitang mga bagong archers,” explained Sombrio.
One of the athletes high on Sombrio’s list is Fil-Am Riley Silos, who is based in Califronia.
Silos, a nephew of TV/movie actor Ryan Agoncillo, had already represented the country in the 20th Asian Archery Championships held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2017.
The 18-year-old archer consistently placed in the podium of several archery competitions in Singapore, Malaysia and even the US.
“Actually, nag-communicate lang kami and I told him that he should participate in our local tournaments to earn a spot to the national team. He is willing to come here,” said Sombrio.
“Right now, he regularly sends to us videos of his regular trainings every week. Magaling talaga. Nanalo na sa Singapore, sa Malaysia pati na sa mga tournaments sa US. Lagi sya gold or silver medal.”
A former champion-archer himself, Sombrio knows how to find a good archer and what it takes to become a successful one.
“In archery, we need to stay in shape both physically and mentally. But we also need to train hard. We need to maintain precision, control and focus,” added Sombrio.