Solimen bags gold for ‘school project’
For Ivan Solimen, competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) taekwondo was more like a school project: He borrowed a tripod, worked on camera angle, fussed over internet connection, and then performed.
He submitted his finished work for checking and waited for two weeks for the results to come. The video that featured him unleashing, by his own estimate, 98 kicks in 60 seconds won for him the NCAA Season 96 men’s finweight gold medal.
“You really have to work very hard to adjust to the new normal,” said Solimen, a 20-year-old incoming architecture junior at College of St. Benilde. “But it was all fun because my teammates were also doing it.”
On top of a daily training regimen that is specifically tailored for speed kicking competitions, an event borne out of the pandemic restrictions, he also had to tend to his online classes.
It was a world of difference from the usual, but Solimen, who is based in Baguio City, has no complaints.
“This is only my second time to actually compete (in the NCAA) last year I got injured and only entered in poomsae,” Solimen said.
Solimen, the younger brother of former national taekwondo jin Apriel Solimen, also bagged silver in poomsae, whose results were announced a few days before.
Former Southeast Asian Games champ and now St. Benilde coach Japoy Lizardo said they patterned the season’s training on specific events like speed kick and freestyle, which is more like a demonstration.Lizardo said they are expecting more victories in the coming days.
Jack Janggo Natividad of San Beda captured the top prize in flyweight division of the event broadcast by the GTV Channel of GMA Network. INQ