Defense wins it for taekwondo jin Dave Cea
MANILA, Philippines—The adage “defense wins championships” gets thrown around mostly in team sports, but for Dave Cea it also applied in the kyorugi competition in the taekwondo event of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Cea displayed such a textbook defense against Thailand’s Nutthawee Klompong in the men’s under-74 kilograms finals that his initial offensive outburst was enough for him to win the gold medal.
The 21-year-old from National University won the bout 10-5 with all his 10 points landing in the first round in a display that was both clinical and maniacal.
“Our plan in the first round is not to be aggressive but I just embraced the excitement of the crowd,” said Cea in Filipino Sunday at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
“By the time the second round started I was back in focus and it was to concentrate more on defense and I just continued it until the third. I focused last on offense, because my coach and I talked more about defense.”
Both fighters couldn’t land solid hits in the second and it was only in the third that Klompong got his points. But it remained a struggle for the Thai to break Cea’s guard.
Cea, who is competing in his first SEA Games, admitted he felt nervous before he entered the competition area but he just shooked it off and remembered his preparation heading into the regional games.
“I was excited but at the same time nervous, I just thought of my coaches’ reminders during the match and I was able to enjoy it,” said Cea, also a two-time UAAP champion before graduating with a degree in business administration.