PH wins gold in men’s team poomsae, silver in women’s individual
SINGAPORE — Stung by the losses in women’s individual and team events, the Philippine men’s poomsae team of Dustin Jacob Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella and Rodolfo Reyes Jr., poured it all in their routines to gift the Philippines the gold medal Friday in the Southeast Asian Games.
The last event in the taekwondo discipline, the PH men’s team displayed fluid motion and sharpness in form to tally 7.850 points from the judges and the adoration from the crowd at the Singapore Expo Hall 2.
The Mella brothers and Reyes were competing in the SEA Games as a team for the first time although together they won bronze in the world championships in Mexico last year.
Dustin Jacob and Raphael Enrico, sons of PH team manager Igor Mella, won the same event two years ago in Burma with another teammate.
“We are really nervous because in the first form we committed errors,” said Philippine Taekwondo Association secretary general Monsour del Rosario. “But in the second form they really did well. Their sidekicks, front kicks and blocks were really sharp compared to other teams.”
Performing sixth among seven nations, the Nationals got 7.840 in the first routine and then 7.860 to get the winning average, besting Vietnam which garnered 7.720 points and Indonesia which had 7.505.
The members collapsed in a group hug back stage after Del Rosario announced that they bagged the title, just moments after a costly mistake plunged the women’s team to third place among three competing teams.
“These boys are very good, at least we are relieved of the pressure because we are the men’s team defending champion,” said Del Rosario. “The coach did very well, JP (Sabido) who is also a world champion in poomsae.”
The victory came after the women’s team of Jocel Lyn Ninobla, Juven Crisostomo and Rinna Babanto had to settle for bronze after messing their routines due to nervousness.
“These are a young team, first time in SEA Games, they know their mistakes. Now my concern is how they stop crying,” said Sabido.
The day started when Babanto suffered a stunning defeat to Singaporean Chelsea Sim in the women’s individual event to settle for silver.
“Well they’re the host country, they gave it to Singapore although in my opinion Rinna should have won the gold,” said Del Rosario. “But it happens, we are all very proud of them, I’m sure their parents and the whole nation are proud of them.”
Sim got 8.0 points from the judges, while Babanto, a world championships bronze winner, collected 7.48. Mutiara Habiba of Indonesia bagged third place with 7.365.
Originally posted as of 12:58 PM | Friday, June 12, 2015