BRUNEI - Davao City jins Juan Miguel Dalangin and Elah Janica Liwag, who both competed in their first ever Eaga Friendship Games, pulled off a surprise by clinching the taekwondo poomsae mixed pair gold medal as Team Mindanao-Philippines' placed fourth in the 10th edition of the Games here.
The University of the Immaculate Conception pair of Dalangin and Liwag registered 8.21 points while Brunei bets scored 8.01 for silver and Sabah pair copped the bronze with 7.92 points.
Liwag, 17, said, "It feels surreal po. First international game po and nagkamedal po kaagad. I am so happy and honored to be part of this team po. Proud to be representing the Philippines."
The duo trained since September and mastered their routine.
Dalangin, 16, also shared, "Basta na-happy ko kay wala ko nag expect na manalo kay international baya, maraming magaling. Nag-pray lang ako at nagpractice lang and believe sa sarili at kay Elah (I'm so happy, I didn't expect to win since this is an international event and the rest of the entries are also good. I just prayed, believed in myself and Elah)."
Liwag also said that even if the team did not win gold in the rest of the events, they were the champions in the eyes of the spectators.
She also pocketed a silver in women's individual poomsae as Dalangin salvaged a bronze in men's individual poomsae for the Hyoung Joo Kim-coached taekwondo team.
Mindanao collected a total of 10 golds, 12 silvers and 13 bronzes for the fourth overall spot in the 10-delegation sportsfest. The 23-17-15 Sabah emerged on top followed by 16-9-10 Brunei Darussalam A in second, 14-13-8 Northern Territory third.
Davao City's Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera, in an interview, hailed the Dabawenyos for giving their best in the competition.
"Our athletes were very impressive. They excelled even if they were outsized. They were not intimidated at all as they were determined to win," he said, adding that giving of incentives for the medalists will be the prerogative of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The city's swimming team hauled eight golds, nine silvers and seven bronzes while athletics added one gold and two bronzes. The wushu team contributed one silver and one bronze while the karatedo team accounted for one bronze.