BAGUIO Defenders gym topped the Panagbenga taekwondo championship, besting six other teams during the weekend at the Baguio City National High school.

Melvin Morte, tournament manager of the Panagbenga Cup, explained that several teams from Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon were invited to come and join the tournament. The groups, however, were busy as they conduct their selection of delegates for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa this April in Tarlac City.

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Leading the medal haul is the Defenders gym with 13 gold, 13 silver and 21 bronze medals, while UFC-Art haven gathered four gold, five silver and six bronze medals to a distant place second.

Humbled at third place is the GB sports gym with four golds, two silvers and five bronzes while Bravehearts gym placed fourth with three gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

In the fifth and sixth place are Baguio National High school team, with a tally of 1-1-2, and Benguet contenders with three bronze medals.

Three categories were joined by 227 participants from Baguio and Benguet. The categories were grade school advance; grade school novice 1; and grade school novice 2 with three to four groups for girls while four to six groups for boys.

Meanwhile, two Baguio taekwondo players in Keno Mendoza and Apriel Solimen, both students of Baguio Defenders Taekwondo gym flew to Tijuana, Mexico for the Youth Olympic Games World Qualification scheduled on March 3 to 4 and World Junior Taekwondo Championship on March 6 to 9.

“Baguio City produces international players,” Morte said, adding the Philippines Taekwondo Association shouldered all the expenses of the delegates for the international competitions.