DAVAO City's seven-member taekwondo team targets five gold medals when action begins for Team Mindanao-Philippines in the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friendship Games 2018 in Brunei next month.
Head coach Hyoung Joo Kim, who also heads Philippine Taekwondo Association Davao Region, made this bold prediction Friday afternoon in an interview with SunStar Davao on the sidelines of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) briefing and orientation for the city's some 90 delegates at The Royal Mandaya Hotel.
Kim said, “They will have good chances for the medals, don't worry,” adding that the golds would be possible in the individual, doubles and team poomsae events.
He also said that Russel John Dioresma, Juan Miguel Dalangin, Kyle Joseph Reyes, Arvyn Deanne Cabilao, May Joy Jonas, Kelly Anne Lada and Elah Janica Liwag have been training daily.
“Three times a week I also meet with them for training in my gym. They will continue to train until we leave for Brunei,” Kim said.
He said they would have wanted that sparring events be also included in the biennial Games to have more chances of winning medals.
Yet, PSC's 10th BIMP NT-Eaga Games secretariat head Karlo Paolo Pates, executive assistant of
PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey, told this writer that the host country only chose all forms events, poomsae for taekwondo and kata for karatedo, since sparring for them is already considered as fighting, which they believe is a form of violence.
Kim, however, said that poomsae is more difficult than sparring contrary to the common perception that the latter is more challenging.
Poomsae, according to him, requires memorization of the routine, stronger and good hand techniques and louder shout.
“In sparring you don't memorize, you fight,” he said.
Liwag, a Palarong Pambansa 2018 poomsae silver medalist, said the Brunei Games is an opportunity for her to bounce back after failing to qualify in the World Poomsae championhsips.
She is excited to be playing in the Games for the first time. But she does not give predictions. “Every time I compete po, I make sure I give my best and I don't think of others. Dapat pagpasok ko palang, may dating na. First impression is important.”
Meanwhile, Renato Liwag, Jr. will assist Kim.