Babanto falls short

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Thursday, December 19, 2013


WORLD poomsae champion Rinna Babanto’s dream of a Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) gold medal was dashed after finishing fourth place in the Women’s Team Poomsae event at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Myanmar yesterday.

The 16-year-old Babanto, the only Cebuano and the youngest member of the Philippine national taekwondo team, along with teammates Janice Lagman and Rani Ortega failed to win a medal after finishing just fourth in their event.

Vietnam took home the gold medal with a score of 7.950, while Thailand grabbed the silver medal with a score of 7.785.

Indonesia took the bronze with score of 7.67 just slightly ahead of the Philippines, which finished with 7.665.

Babanto just won a gold medal in the Women’s Under-17 category of the prestigious 8th World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships last month along with fellow Cebuana Mikhaela Calamba and Manila’s Jocel Ninobla.

Despite the heartbreaking defeat in the women’s team event, the PH National Taekwondo team found success in the other poomsae events, in which they snagged a gold and a silver medal.

Dustin Mella, Raphael Mella and Vidal Gabriel took home the gold medal in the Men’s Team Poomsae event.

They logged a score of 7.92, followed by Indonesia with a score of 7.59 for the silver medal and Thailand with 7.55 for the bronze.

Gabriel also got another medal in the men’s single Poomsae event. He won the silver medal with a score of 8.035, trailing gold medal winner Thaw Zin Han, who scored 8.400. Vietnam’s Anh Minh Le and Malaysia’s Jin Kun Jong both shared the event’s bronze medal.

At press time, the Philippines was still at seventh place with 17 golds, 21 silvers and 26 bronzes. Thailand was still at the top with 68-63-59 followed by Vietnam with 52-48-54, host Myanmar with 52-43-54, Indonesia with 47-59-67, Malaysia with 27-26-50 and Singapore with 23-21-31.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2013.

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