THE PHILIPPINE Taekwondo Association hopes to spearhead the country’s campaign in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games in December with a maximum of seven gold medals.
With the country’s hopes of improving on its sixth-place overall finish in Jakarta all but dashed after the Burmese hosts tweaked the roster of events to favor their own campaign, the PH taekwondo coaching staff said the jins are best positioned to win as many gold medals as possible in the biennial meet.
“We won four gold medals, including the women’s poomsae team, in Jakarta, so the goal is to improve on it, add maybe two or three more to ease the effect of the events taken out (by Myanmar),” said national coach Dindo Simpao during the recent Scoop sa Kamayan forum on Padre Faura.
“And with the emergence of old and fresh talents in the last Carlos Palanca Jr. competitions, I believe we can attain that.”
Taekwondo and boxing produced the most number of golds by any participating national sports association with four each during the last SEA Games in Indonesia. The jins also bagged three silvers and five bronzes.
The Myanmar organizers slashed events and added indigenous sports in the December Games.
Simpao said 24 jins who performed well in the CPJ championships will undergo training and international exposure, including stints in the World Championships in July in Spain.
The pool will be further trimmed down to 12, six each for men’s and women’s teams, for the SEA Games.
Already assured of slots are 2011 SEA Games champions John Paul Lizardo and Elaine Alora. Lizardo won the men’s 58kg gold and Alora the women’s 62 kg gold in Indonesia.