SEA Games: PH may field just six jins
Taekwondo, a perennial gold medal producer for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games, will be hard pressed to deliver in Singapore this June.
Singapore organizers recently decided to cut the number of events in the popular Korean martial arts from the usual eight weight divisions to just three each in the men’s and women’s categories.
That means the country’s hopes for gold will rest on the shoulders of just six jins.
But national coach and six-time SEA Games champion Roberto “Kitoy” Cruz said the team will make do with what’s given them.
“It’s going to be hard but we are still upbeat because we can make adjustments,” said Cruz, who is also a three-time World championship silver medalist and two-time Olympian.
He said they still don’t know which weight categories will be included but the team will be a perfect balance of young jins and veterans.
Cruz said the country will get to test its mettle when it hosts an international tournament in Iloilo in February.
The country won four golds on top of four silvers and six bronzes during the 2013 SEA Games in Burma (Myanmar). The winners were Kristopher Robert Uy, Jade Zafra, Kirstie Elaine Alora and the poomsae team of Dustin Jacob Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella and Vidal Marvin Gabriel.
The Philippines also went home with a 4-3-5 gold-silver-bronze haul from the Indonesia SEAG in 2011, and 4-4-4 in Laos.