Lopez leads list of top speed kickers; other national bets also shine | Inquirer Sports

Lopez leads list of top speed kickers; other national bets also shine

/ 05:20 AM July 16, 2020

At a time when a pandemic has everything at a standstill, Philippine taekwondo proved it’s alive and kicking. And the national team, hungry for real action for months, showed they’ve got loads of it—literally.

Southeast Asian Games champion Pauline Lopez cranked up 90 kicks in a minute, making sure she executed the required number of turning kicks and head shots to shine in her weight class.

“It’s almost like an actual [kyorugi] competition,” said Lopez, who led Team Philippines in the recent Smart/MVP Sports Online National Taekwondo Speed Kicking Championships over the weekend.

The unique competition, devised by the Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) officials and coaches to stir up activity for the sport in the time of the coronavirus, will serve as test meet for the World Championships slated in October.

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“They judge how well you execute your kicks so you have to take care of the presentation,” Lopez told the Inquirer. “It’s good for our mental side and is a good gauge of our preparedness.”

The 23-year-old Lopez ruled the senior featherweight class, submitting her video entry from a hideaway in Subic.

And like some 3,000 others, they were judged by a jury who were specifically educated about the tournament’s newly drafted rules.

PTA executive vice president Sung Chon Hong said the speed-kicking tournament is only the second of their specialized tournaments to make sure there is activity in the sport. They previously unveiled the national online poomsae championships.

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“We have many instructors and students, they can’t be idle, they must have something to look forward despite the restrictions that we have,” said Hong, who is the acknowledged father of Philippine taekwondo.

Fellow SEA Games champ Sam Morrison and Arven

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Alcantara also ruled their respective events.

Morrison won the welter-heavy class, while Alcantara, a SEA Games silver winner, topped the feather-light category. Other winners were Francis Rodillas in men’s senior finweight, Justin Macario in men’s senior flyweight and Hadzel Bayquen in men’s senior bantamweight.

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TAGS: Pauline Lopez, Philippine Taekwondo

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