MANILA – The trio of two-time world champion Jean Pierre Sabado, Ernesto Guzman Jr. and Glenn Lava on Monday captured the men’s over-30-year-old team event to highlight the Philippine campaign in the 4th Asian Taekwondo Poomsae Championships at the Manila Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom.
Showing the poise and precision that led them to team crowns in the 2013 and 2014 world championships, the Filipino troika topped the event with a score of 7.97 points, besting the defending champion Iranian team (7.88). South Korea settled for the bronze (7.72).
Also capturing a gold was Jeordan Dominguez in the men’s individual poomsae freesty with 7.72 points in the event sponsored by PLDT, Meralco, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, Resorts World Manila and the Philippine Sports Commission.
But in the centerpiece -30-year-old division, the Filipino bets could only muster three silvers in the men’s and women’s team events and men’s individual event courtesy of Rodolfo Reyes Jr. on top of three bronze medals in other age categories.
Reyes and brothers Dustin Jacob and Raphael Enrico Mella, the reigning Southeast Asian Games team champion, were relegated to runner-up honors after tallying 8.28 points, .20 points behind the gold-medal Indonesian squad of Maulana Hadjir, Adburrahim Wahyu and Muhammad Alli Kusuma.
The women’s squad also Jocel Lun Ninobla, Clare Therese Gascon and Angelica Joyce Gaw likewise took the silver (8.21), missing the gold by a whisker to the Chinese-Taipei squad of Ying Hsian Lee, Yi Hsuan Chen and Hsiang Ting Chen (8.23). Vietnam got the bronze (8.16).
The bronze medals came from Ninobla in the women’s individual under-30 division, Babanta amd Dustin Jacob Mella in the mixed pair under-30 and Ernesto Guzman in the men’s over-40 class.
“The Iranian team beat us for the gold in the last Asian championships, so we got our revenge here in Manila,” said Sabido, who is now the national poomsae coach but came out of retirement on the prodding of Philippine Taekwondo Association chief executive officer Hong Sung Chong.
He added that he and his teammates would be gunning for third straight crown in the world championships slated October in Lima, Peru.
“I can’t express my happiness because I finally won a gold on my second try,” said Dominguez, 25, a taekwondo instructor based in Baguio City, of his achievement after taking the silver in the team freestyle in the previous edition of the competition.
Allan Keanua Ganapin, the country’s lone entry in the Asian Para Taekwondo Championships, bowed out early in the men’s 75-kg. division, losing his opening match, 0-5, to South Korea’s Choi Jae Sik.
Due to the huge number of entries, organizers of the Asian Taekwondo (sparring) Championships h revised the program so that the preliminaries began late last night.
Scheduled to see action last night were Olympic qualifier Kirstie Elaine Alora and Kristopher Robert Uy.