FORMER world champions Glenn Lava and Rinna Babanto, junior jins Nica Garces and Luiji Estrada, and Nichole Maurin will represent flag and country in three world competitions.

Lava and Babanto have been named as members of the Philippine national taekwondo poomsae squad that will be competing in the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Taekwondo Poomsae Championships 2016 in Lima, Peru on Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.

Lava and Babanto automatically earned slots in the national team after their impressive showing last year.

“For sure they are among the country’s top poomsae players,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 chairman Tony del Prado told Sun.Star Cebu.

Lava joins JP Sabido and Ernesto de Guzman in defending their title Above 30 Men’s Team Event.

“They will be aiming for their third straight world championship gold. He (Lava) is sort of seeded in that team,” said del Prado.

Babanto is teaming up with Rico Mella in a pair event.

Garces and Estrada were picked to join the PHL team for the 2016 WTF World Taekwondo Junior Championships on Nov. 16 to 20 in Burnaby, Canada.

“Nica was superb during the evaluation and was a class above the rest. Luiji, who is Cebu’s tallest jin, also made the grade by performing well in sparring against his peers. He put everything on the line sans fear,” said del Prado.

Garces and Estrada are two of the six Cebuanos who tried out in the final evaluation last Tuesday.

Maurin, on the other hand, is the only Cebuano who will compete in the upcoming 2016 World Taekwondo Hanmadang on Aug. 3 to 7 in South Korea.

Maurin is currently in Manila training with the rest of the national and will be leaving for South Korea on Sunday.

Aidaine Laxa, one of Cebu’s promising poomsae players, has been chosen as one of the two Filipinos who will be in a poomsae workshop in South Korea in September.

“Things are looking up for Cebu Taekwondo,” said del Prado.