Jakarta—The first-timers nearly stole the show, until they rammed into the traditional powerhouses.
With the taekwondo event of poomsae making its debut in the 2018 Asian Games, the Philippine men’s and women’s taekwondo teams almost made it to the zenith but fell in their semifinal matches to China and Korea, respectively, to settle for two bronze medals at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Assembly Hall here on Sunday.
An opening for the gold medal match presented itself to the men’s troika of Dustin Jacob Mella, Jeordan Dominguez and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. after they defeated Iran in the quarterfinals, 8.339 vs 8.100.
But the trio rammed into the Great Wall, losing in the semifinals to China’s Zhu Yuxiang, Hu Mingda and Deng Tingfeng, 7.830 - 8.180, to settle for the first bronze medal of the Philippine delegation.
The same fate befell the triumvirate of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto and Janna Dominique Oliva, who failed to make it to the championship round after bowing to Unifed Korea’s Gwak Yeowon, Choi Dongah, Park Jaeun, 7.110-8.020, also in the semifinals.
“Hard luck. We lost in the semifinals, but we are very proud of the teams,” said Philippine Taekwondo Association national head coach Igor Mella.
The men’s team began their ascent to the semifinals after defeating Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16, 8.180-7.640, before securing the quarterfinal win over the Iranians.
The women’s team won over host Indonesia in the quarterfinals, 8.070-8.040, after edging Hong Kong, China in the round of 16, 8.000-7.490.
Other Philippine bets in the individual poomsae were not as lucky as Reyes and Jocelyn Ninobla both failed to advance.
Reyes was eliminated by Thailand’s Pongporn Suvittayarak, 8.08-8.32, in the quarterfinals after he advanced to the last eight by eliminating Ruslan Manaspayev 8.08-7.08 in the round of 16. Ninobla fell by the wayside in the round of 16 to Vietnam’s Tuyet Van Chau, 7.89-8.11.
The men’s team’s semifinal tormentor China went on to settle for the silver after bowing to Unified Korea’s Han Yeonghun, Kim Seonho and Kang Wanjin, even as the Koreans’ female side was upset by Thailand’s Chomchuen Kotchawan, Phaisankiattikun Phenkanya and Sirisahakit Omawee, 8.200 to 8.210.
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