TWO Baguio jins helped the Philippine Taekwondo poomsae team to a gold in the mixed team event and powered the country to a third overall finish in the demonstration part of the South Korean martial arts.
Two-time world taekwondo poomsae Jeordan Dominguez and fast-rising Justin Kobe Macario helped the Philippine mixed poomsae squad to the gold in the 6th Asian Taekwondo Championships at the Nouhad Naufal Indoor Sports Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon Monday.
Dominguez, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, and teener Macario helped the five men/woman mixed poomsae squad to the gold and powered the Philippine delegates to two golds, three silvers and five bronze medals performance which was good for third overall.
Dominguez and Macario, formerly a Baguio City High School student before moving to the National University for scholarship and national and international exposure, is now a member of the University of Santo Tomas taekwondo team.
The two joined Marvin Mori, Juvenile Crisostomo and Nikki Oliva in the Freestyle Mixed competition for a team event for the top podium finish.
A total of 12 Filipino jins saw action in the poomsae side with Rodolfo Reyes, Jr. leading the charge for the non-combat side of the Korean martial arts.
Darius Venerable added the country’s second gold after topping the men’s individual freestyle.
Jana Dominique Oliva, on the other hand, settled for the silver medal on the women’s side of freestyle.
The other silver medalists were Venerable and Juvenile Faye Crisostomo in the mixed pair freestyle.
June Ninonla added another silver in the men’s individual recognized poomsae.
Reyes, meanwhile, settled for the bronze medal in men’s individual recognized poomsae, while Ninobla earned the same medal in the distaff side of the same event.
Ninobla, Rinna Babanto and Aidaine Laxa finished with a bronze medal in the women’s team recognized poomsae, while Reyes, Patrick Perez and Joaquin Dominic Tuzon took the male side of the same event.
Perez and Babanto placed third in the mixed pair recognized poomsae.
Team Philippines took three special awards with coach Rani Ann Ortega as top coach, while Venerable and Crisostomo were named most valuable players of the tournament in their respective divisions.
The kyorugi or combative side of taekwondo, meanwhile, started their quest Wednesday.
The Philippine team will feature three of those denied seats in the Tokyo Olympic this July with Pauline Lopez, Arven Alcantara and Kirstie Alora hoping to bounce back with podium finishes in the Beirut tournament
They are still competing with nine other Kyorugi jins in their side that plays until June 18.
Lopez, Alcantara and Alora failed to get a ticket to the summer Olympics where Abra boy Kurt Barbosa qualified.
The men’s team in the combat side are Rommel Pablo, Jr. (-54 kg), Kurt Pajuelas (-58 kg), Joseph Chua (-63 kg), Alcantara (-68 kg), Dave Cea (-74 kg) and Samuel Morrison (-80 kg).
The women’s squad is composed of Veronica Garces (-45 kg), Rheza Aragon (-49 kg), Baby Jessica Canabal (-53 kg), (-57 kg), Laila Delo (-67 kg) and Alora (+73 kg).
Tokyo Paralympics-bound Para Jin Allain Ganapin (75 kg K44) is playing in the Asian Para-Taekwondo Championships that started Tuesday, June 15. – Pigeon Lobien