‘A class of her own’-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
IT WAS a slow start for the PHL National Poomsae squad with just a lone medal in the first two days of the biggest poomsae world meet.
But last Sunday, the Philippines hit it big after topping two events in the 8th World Taekwondo Federation World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship in Bali, Indonesia.
Cebuana jin Mikaela Calamba defended her crown in the women’s individual freestyle event and then teamed up with fellow Cebuanas Rinna Babanto and Jocel Ninobla to snag the gold in the Under-17 women’s team event.
“The pressure of repeating was tremendous. We were worried that if we don’t win again, people might think that last year was a fluke. But we believed we have the correct program and our Cebuano coach (Glenn Lava) is one of best in the country so we just plodded on and continued to have faith in ourselves and in God,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 chairman Tony del Prado told Sun.Star Cebu.
“Then we won the overall in this year’s (National) Taekwondo Poomsae Championships and Lava was awarded as best coach. But still there was the world championship to conquer.
And lo and behold we won for the country! History was made again and the bar was raised higher.”
Calamba beat some of the best in world in the women’s individual freestyle event last year at just 15 years old and became the first Filipino to win in the annual world poomsae tournament.
Although just 16 years old, Calamba rose up to the occasion to once again deliver for the Philippines, twice.
“Kokoy (Calamba) is really special. For her to win two gold medals in the same day at 16 years old shows tons of mental toughness and maturity,” said del Prado. “We are praying that she will be available if called to carry the country’s colors for the Southeast Asian Games. Team Pilipinas needs her.”
The Philippines had a medal drought in the first day of the competition with Calamba finishing at seventh in the Under-17 women’s individual event; June Ninobla falling short at fifth in the Under-49 men’s individual category; and France Alarilla, Rani Ortega and Janice Lagman finishing sixth in the Under-29 women’s team event.
The Philippines got its first medal in the second day after Jean Sabido finished second the men’s freestyle event. Calamba and Raphael Mella finished fifth in the Under-17 Pair category, while Sabido also ended up at sixth place in the Under-39 men’s individual event.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 04, 2013.