RINNA Babanto’s ultimate dream is to suit up for the Philippines in the grandest multi-sporting event, the Olympics. However, her stint with the Philippine National Taekwondo Team in the 2018 Asian Games that kicks off tomorrow in Indonesia is the next best thing.
“Asian Games is one of my dream competitions to participate in, next to the Olympics. I am so grateful and blessed because I am able to compete and represent the flag in this prestigious event. I felt so inspired and at the same time challenged because having an injury while preparing for the Asian Games is not that easy. But I turned it into a motivation to achieve my dream, competing in the Asian Games,” Babanto, a world champion in poomsae, told SunStar Cebu.
The 20-year-old Cebuana, who’s studying Sports Management in De La Salle University, suffered a meniscal tear on her right knee that needed surgery.
Despite her injury, she pushed on and is now good to go for the Women’s Team Poomsae event along with Nikki Oliva.
“It feels a bit better compared to last month. There is still a bit of pain but it’s bearable,” she said.
Babanto is familiar with Crisostomo, who has been her longtime teammate. Babanto and Cristostomo along with Jocel Lyn Ninobla settled for a bronze medal in the Women’s Team Poomsae event in last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
Though she’s a rookie in this event, Babanto, who’s a well travelled veteran, is confident of her team’s chances against Asia’s best.
“It’s my first time in the Asian Games. But I have been teammates with Nikki in Korea and in the Asian Championships last May,” said Babanto.”I think we have a big chance of winning a medal because we’ve been preparing for a long time.” EKA