NICA Garces adds her name to the growing list of Cebuano jins who excel internationally as she grabbed a silver medal in kyorugi in the Chuncheon Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships 2019.
“I’ve been rooting for her since she was in high school. It was evident that she had raw talent and determination to make it in the international field. It was a matter of getting advanced training and the proper breaks,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 chairman Tony del Prado told SunStar Cebu.
Garces’ Cebuana teammates Rinna Babanto and Aidaine Laxa along with Manila’s Jocel Lyn Ninobla won a gold medal for the Philippines in the Women’s Team Authorized Poomsae last July 8.
“Her joining the national pool and subsequent transfer to National University paved the way for this,” said del Prado.
Garces lost to South Korean Mi-reu Kang, 40-24, in the Women’s Senior Under 46-kilo finals.
Garces beat South Korean Han Nayeon, 9-7, in the first round and outclassed South Korean Yura Kim, 26-15, in the second round. She earned her trip to the finals after crushing Lingmin Li of China, 23-17, in the semifinals.
“It was never easy for Nica. She had to struggle with weight maintenance as well as disappointing losses in her first couple of international stints,” said del Prado. “But you have to give it to her. Despite the self-doubts she is resilient and very determined.”
Del Prado is hopeful that this performance by Garces could earn her a spot in the Southeast Asian Games (Seag) taekwondo team.
“We’re crossing our fingers regarding the Seag. Barring injuries, her chances of making the line-up look good.” (EKA)