Hunting for gold

CEBUANO taekwondo jins Luigi Estrada, Nica Garces and Dennison Cañeda open their campaign in the 2016 Gyeongju Korea Open today in Gyeongju, South Korea.

Luigi Estrada is competing in the featherweight division, Garces in the bantamweight division and Cañeda in the finweight division. They are all in the Juniors class of the annual tournament that will run up until July 5.

The trio are up against some of the best jins in the world in kyorugi or sparring and the outcome will not only depend on their talent and training but also on the draw.

“That’s (the chances of winning a medal) very difficult to predict since aside from training, it would depend on the ‘luck of the draw’,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 chairman Tony del Prado told Sun.Star Cebu.

Some of the jins that del Prado believes they should look out for are fighters from host South Korea, Iran and from powerhouse European countries.

But despite the difficult task at hand for the trio, winning a medal isn’t impossible; in fact both Estrada and Garces have already taken home medals in this stage, when the Cebuanos had an impressive campaign last year.

“Some medals would be great,” an optimistic del Prado said.

Estrada took home a bronze in last year’s edition, while Garces had a better finish with a silver medal. The other Cebuanos who brought home a medal for the Philippine national taekwondo sparring team in last year’s Korea Open in Chuncheon were Lee Navales and Mayn Coran. Cebuana poomsae world champion Rinna Babanto also brought home a gold medal in Poomsae.

Unfortunately this year, no Cebuano jin will compete in poomsae.

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