THE Vic Feria-mentored Hanah Taekwondo Academy from Bacolod City brought home four medals - two golds, one silver and one bronze - from the Smart/MVP Carlos Palanca Jr. National Taekwondo Championships held from February 18 to 19 at the Ayala Malls by the Bay in Metro Manila.

It is dubbed the most prestigious national taekwondo competition of the year as it is only attended exclusively by blackbelters across the country, and getting a silver or gold medal will give the athlete an invite to be part of the National Team Selection later this year.

The first gold medal was won by Dondy Santillan Jr., as he conquered two of his opponents with ease without dropping a single round with a huge margin in all of his fights.

The second gold won by Joshua Emmanuel Deita was tougher, though, since his final match was against National University mainstay and National Team member, John Renzo Balido, and he had a big height advantage.

Deita needed to win all three rounds to defeat his more experienced and taller opponent. It was a very close third round until about 15 seconds left when he connected a turning head kick, which gave him five points - an advantage enough to close out his opponent.

Zyx Marisse Geocadin was three seconds away from winning a gold medal, but her opponent was able to pull through a crucial headkick for three points to gain an advantage as the time ran out.

Geocadin settled for a silver medal and a chance to join the National Team Selection later this year.

Ashley Jasmen Rose Chavez settled for a bronze medal after being bullied by a bigger and faster opponent in her category.

"I am very impressed with the performances of my athletes, and I am glad that they have displayed everything they learned from all the months of training we had. We had a very good tune up game last week at the Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports Cultural Educational Association (NOPSSCEA) taekwondo competition...we will train harder when we get home, and we know that we will get better in the next national competition," said Feria.* (PR)