PTA’s Central Visayas competition attracts 730 taekwondo jins
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) in Central Visayas successfully wrapped up the 2023 Visayas Interschool Taekwondo Championships held in SM Seaside City Cebu.
The tournament fielded over 730 taekwondo jins from all over the Visayas during the two-day competition hosted and officiated by PTA Region 7 headed by its chairman Tony Del Prado.
Del Prado, in an interview with CDN Digital, said that the tournaments that they’ve hosted during the weekend were crucial in molding and discovering young taekwondo jins who could become the next Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) medalists.
It can be recalled that two Cebuana taekwondo jin athletes – Aidaine Krishia Laxa and Nica Garces – bagged the gold and bronze medals, in their respective events in the ongoing 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia.
Laxa topped the women’s recognized poomsae team event, while Garces earned bronze in the women’s kyurogi (sparring) event.
Fascinatingly, both taekwondo jins are products of PTA’s tournaments such as this one.
“Sometimes, parents are afraid to joins competitions, especially fighting competitions. There’s always a nervousness. I myself, I felt that also when my son competed in taekwondo. But, after the competition, once they’ve tried competing, that child will always want to compete for more. That’s why we’re increasing in terms of number of athletes, we hold tournaments like this because it’s safe. We rarely have injuries, so we encourage more and more young athletes to compete which also gives us the opportunity to discover talents that we can send in SEA Games and other international competitions,” said Del Prado.
Schools in Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Ormoc, Leyte, and Samar competed in various categories such as toddler (7-9 years old) to senior division (college) during the two-day event.
Del Prado takes pride of their smooth hosting and officiating of the tournament, thanks to their seasoned officials and their state-of-the-art electronic scoring system which was at par with international standards.
“The tournament went on smoothly, no protest which is very important, we don’t hear anybody accuse of manipulation or cheating, nobody’s above board because we are now using the state of the art electronic scoring system which minimizes human intervention,” said Del Prado.
“I think, in terms of number of schools, since it’s an inter-school event, I think we got more than 50 schools from all over Visayas. We are happy because this event turned out to be very successful,” he added.
From the initial 600, they decided to reopen the registration last month to accommodate more interested schools to compete until they reached a total of 730 taekwondo jins.
“We have to deliver a product to our stakeholders, who are our stakeholders? The players, the parents, the referees, the officials. It’s always our objective to deliver a product that is always on time, and one that’s smoothly run and one that’s fair in terms of competition. That’s what we’ve been able to deliver,” Del Prado said.
The last time SM Seaside City Cebu hosted a taekwondo competition was last March during the 2023 Regional CPJ Taekwondo Championships at the same venue. Over 500 taekwondo jins competed in that tournament.
Some of the schools and teams that shone during the competition were the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters and the City of Naga Sugbu Taekwondo Club. UC hauled 43 medals comprised of 10 golds, 15 silvers, and 18 bronzes. The City of Naga Sugbu Taekwondo Club earned eight gilts, nine silvers, and six bronzes.
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