THE future looks bright for Benguet taekwondo jins after taking home 26 gold, including 13 silver and 15 bronze medals, during the MBW International Taekwondo Championships 2023 recently held at Stadium Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Wayne Eusebio led all athletes with three gold medals on top of a single bronze coming from kroyugi. Eusebio took an individual gold in poomsae and later on paired with Precious Ashley Benitez in kroyugi pair and with Jhon Bert Valenzuela and Elcanor Mangusan who won the mint in the team poomsae.
Jhon Bert Valenzuela had two mints and a silver medal coming from individual and team poomsae and pair poomsae, respectively.
Benitez and Mangusan also had three medals with two golds and a bronze.
Multi-medalists include Yuamiekoh Ganado Giana Zienne Esiong, Zaine Dawn Acquisio, and Angela Nichole Perez, while Kody Wanson and Manilyn Mataag had two mints coming from individual poomsae and kroyugi.
Aldrick Kurt Pugong, Kristauf Bosaingand Alwina Dimacquiat had a gold and silver coming from the two disciplines of the martial arts.
Janine Mae Ladao bagged gold in the team poomsae as well as silver medals in individual and pair poomsae.
Hanna Shanniya had a gold medal in kroyugi and a silver in individual poomsae as well as a bronze medal in pair poomsae. John Lloyd Feliciano had a gold and silver finish coming from individual and team poomsae.
Jiro Justin Bahon came home with a gold and bronze medal coming from individual and pair poomsae.
Xian Craig Eusebio had a gold and bronze medal in individual and team poomsae, the same output as Shaun Devyn Masaway.
Other gold medalists were: Noriel Acquisio, Alice Rhema and Jaren Gabriel Mana-a, Geraldine Calingayan, and Sabrina Kielle Sorbito.
The squad was backed by Samahang Taekwondo ng Pilipinas and the Provincial Government of Benguet.
Participating countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, China, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Hongkong, and Macau who competed in Individual Poomsae, Pair Poomsae, Team Poomsae, Freestyle Poomsae and Kyorugi event.
With their recent victory, there is hope that a new breed of taekwondo jins from the province will soon rise and represent the country as Benguet is set to stage the second martial arts festival.
The festival will feature taekwondo to be played on September 30 while arnis and grappling will see action on the 23rd and the 24th respectively.
Benguet sports coordinator Dean Mark Monang said the martial arts fest is just one of the many avenues where they hope to hone the talents of athletes.