Cebuano jins bag golds in National Pool Selection tourney
SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Nica Garces and seven other Cebu jins snared gold medals in the talent-packed Taekwondo National Pool Selection Tournament last Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Manila.
Garces won a gold medal in the Finweight Seniors Women category while fellow University of Cebu (UC) prides Dineson Cañeda and Roida Ranile raked their own golds in the Finweight Juniors Division and Flyweight Cadet Division, respectively.
“At first, I was intimidated because different level naman ang seniors compared sa akong usual na category (Juniors),” Garces said.
Garces was supposed to be playing at the Juniors level because of her age, but her fighting skills was beyond her age so she participated in the Seniors category, which is mostly composed by players 18 years old and above.
The tournament was participated by National Training Pool qualifiers all over the country including perennial players from big universities in Manila.
Meanwhile, Southeast Asian (SEA) Games double-bronze medalist Rinna Babanto reaffirmed her status as the country’s top female Poomsae player after topping the Senior Women Poomsae division.
Babanto was a discovery of University of San Carlos (USC) coach Glenn Lava before joining the De La Salle University Taekwondo Team in Manila.
USC – North Campus’ Nichole Maurin also snatched a gold medal in the Junior Individual Poomsae, including another one in the Team Junior Female Poomsae alongside Robeigayle Navales and Aidane Laxa.
“They (Cebu Team) get all the credit, especially to coaches Glenn Lava for Poomsae and Michael Realista for Sparring,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 Director Tony del Prado said after his team’s successful feat.
The PTA is yet to conduct a final evaluation of who among the medalists get the chance to slug it out in international competitions representing the Philippine National Team, Del Prado said.
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