THE Philippine archery team hopes to pick up from where young Gabriel Moreno left off as it eyes at least a medal finish in the coming 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The country will be sending a complete compound team in the Asiad that starts on Sept. 19, which newly-elected Philippine Archers National Network and Alliance Inc (PANNA) president Federico Moreno as medal hopeful.
Moreno is the father of 16-year-old Gabriel, which provided the country a gold medal in the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China after teaming up with Li Jiaman of China in the mixed event.
“We are a very strong (team). It’s not yet at its peak, but very motivated, very excited, and medal hopeful,” said the elder Moreno, who appeared with his son in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“(The team) is a seasoned veteran, may experience na.”
Veteran Earl Yap, Joan Tabanag, Dean Adriano, Ian Chipeco, the comebacking Amaya Paz , among others, composed the archery team to the Asiad.
An inspiration to the Incheon-bound archers is the recent feat of the 16-year-old Moreno, who defied the odds in China and showed Filipino archers can deliver in the world stage.
“I think this is the start for all our athletes to believe na hindi imposibleng maka-gold sa Olympics,” said the younger Moreno in the session presented by Shakey’s, Accel, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Moreno started to take up the sport at the age of six, but not after trying other games such as basketball, karate, swimming, badminton, and soccer.
“Nung nag-enjoy siya sa archery, then that’s the time I supported him 100 percent,” said Moreno’s father.
The success of the young Moreno is just the beginning of what the PANNA president said is a six-year training program he is implementing within the federation.
“We’ve put in place a six-year training program, not only for the 2016 Rio de Jainero Olympics but also for the 2020 Olympics and the World Championship. Our mission is to win a gold in both Olympics and the World,” he said.
“For the Rio Olympics, we are targeting a complete men and women’s teams, aside from the individual entries. Matindi ang ang aming ambisyon, but we know we can do this.”