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Friday, December 8, 2023

Taekwondo’s Perez, Ninola eye PH’s first medals in Asian Games

HANGZHOU—If fortunate enough, taekwondo could be the first team from Team Philippine to deliver a medal in the 19th Asian Games here.

Seeing action first for the “Deadly Dozen” are poomsae bets in SEA Games champion King Patrick Perez and Jocel Lyn Ninobla.

For one, Perez is ranked No. 4 in his category, while Ninobla is slightly favored to advance to the next round.

“They’re both ready,” said taekwondo official Rocky Samson.

The jins—supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission—are hoping to conjure the magic of 2006 that saw the PH bets win 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.

“It’s hard but we will try our best,” added the amiable official. “That’s our challenge.”

The Doha edition was the country’s most productive stint so far since the inception of the popular Korean sport in the quadrennial event in the 1986 Seoul edition.

Olympian champion Kurt Bryan Barbosa, meantime, will banner free sparring team along with multi-titled Samuel Morrison and Kirstie Ellaine Alora.

Other members of the “deadly dozen” are David Cea, Arven Alcantara, Veronica Garces and Jubilee Briones. In the 2018 Palembang edition in Indonesia, the taekwondo jins finished 10th overall after winning three medals, including two in team events of poomsae.

The lone individual medal was accounted for by Pauline Lopez, but she won’t also be returning for this year’s edition.

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