Lya Marie Carrillo: Double karate champ

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

LYA MARIE Carrillo finished the year with a bang sans fireworks. She brought home two glittering gold medals from the recently-concluded Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission (POC-PSC) Batang Pinoy 2012 National Championship karatedo competition in Iloilo City.

Lya bested her rivals in girls -60 kilograms kumite and girls +50 kgs. kata.

Her coach Bern Rexander Tacay praised her feats having been entered in weight categories with a minimum of 18 players.


Tacay, guesting in a recent Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum, said just being able to enter the finals was already an achievement.

"Lya beating a strong player from the National Capital Region in the kumite championship was beyond expectation. We are truly proud of her performance," Tacay said in the vernacular.

The five-foot-six Lya, a 13-year-old Grade 8 student at San Pedro College Basic Education, was lured into the playing karatedo by her elder brother Alvin.

Lya recalled, "I was eight years old when I saw my Kuya practicing karate. He inspired me. I somehow felt the urge to be a part of his sport. Since my parents also wanted me to learn self defense, they enrolled me to a karate club."

She struck for two golds in the 3rd Philippine Olympic Festival in Cagayan de Oro City in 2008, barely a year of learning the basics of karatedo.

"I felt really good at that time for achieving these awards. Finally, something good came out from my hard work in training," Lya said.

In May 2011, she copped a bronze in the Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) National Karatedo Championship held in Dumaguete City.

This year, the daughter of Hermie took a silver in the 1st PKF/NSA National Open Age-Group Karatedo Championship held at Philsports Arena in May.

She said being an athlete is satisfying. She has to be disciplined in her time so she can also meet the demands of her academics and at the same time be in tip-top shape during training.

"I study my lessons in every chance I get so I don't get behind in my classes. I also keep myself busy by dancing or reading books," she shared.

She thanked her coach for being an inspiration in her life, adding: "He (Tacay) teaches me things I should learn and he helps me mold my personality to become a great athlete. He is like a father to me `coz he guides me in my journey as an athlete."

Lya dreams of making history in sports, to have a great name that will be remembered by her great grandchildren someday.

The double champ, however, doesn't want to be complacent. Expect her to undergo training even this Christmas vacation. After all, she is aiming to compete in next year's Philippine National Games and perhaps, even a shot at the Asian Youth Games.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 23, 2012.


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