by RONALYN BANAKEN
Hongitan (second from right) with (from left): UB president Prof. Dhanna Kerina Rodas; Eduardo Laureano of the UB Athletics Department; and Alan Elegado, Hongitan’s UB coach (Photo: Rene Pascua/UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)
University of Baguio’s (UB) prime archer Kareel Meer Hongitan finished at rank 62 out of 161 participants in the third stage of the World Cup held in Antalya, Turkey on June 12-19.
The final qualification tournament doubled up as the last leg of the road to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which happens on August 5-21.
Hongitan ranked 12th in the Olympic qualifying event. Although unable to secure a spot for the Rio Olympics, Hongitan holds the record (70-meter distance) for the highest score of 326 (the perfect score is 360) in the country after her World Cup performance. Philippines’ last high score for a woman archer was in 2000, which was garnered by Joy Mariño (324). The other high score was in 1993 by Joan Tabañag (322).
The second stage for the World Cup was held in Copenhagen, Denmark last year as part of the World Archery Championships, to which Hongitan qualified. The first stage was held in Shanghai, China, also last year, in which Hongitan ranked ninth.
Hongitan, 19, is a bronze medalist in the 2014 Kolon Seoul Youth Archery Festa, together with the Philippine team. She became part of the national team in 2014.
She looks forward to playing in the SEA Games again in June next year.