Poomsae ace Jocel Lyn Ninobla has double work up for Asian Games
Jocel Lyn Ninobla gained prominence as poomsae queen in the region after a third consecutive gold medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games last month in Cambodia.
Tapping her for the lone women’s individual gold medal that will be staked in the 19th Asian Games (Asiad) in Hangzhou, China, in September is a no-brainer.
“It’s a different level, but I’ll be up for the challenge,’’ said the 26-year-old Ninobla, whose hat trick in the SEA Games came in the women’s team with rookies Aidaine Laxa and Nicole Labayne.
Ninobla wasn’t a contender in the 2018 Asian Games where the sports science degree holder from University of Santo Tomas wasn’t able to progress to the quarterfinals.
Indonesia’s Defia Rosmaniar is the defending Asian Games champion. But Ninobla has a great track record against the Indonesian, having beaten her in 2019 Manila and 2021 Vietnam SEA Games.
“I just have to train doubly hard and work on my routine,’’ said Ninobla.
Poomsae in the Asiad scheduled Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 will be much harder since organizers decided to combine two events—recognized and freestyle poomsae—for a single medal.
Combo with freestyle
Ninobla, who raked in medals in the world and continental online meets during the pandemic, is a recognized poomsae artist and should combine her expertise with the acrobatics and music of a freestyle act.
In the men’s individual, SEA Games gold medalist Patrick Perez and Kobe Macario will be battling it out for the lone PH slot.
Filipino jins garnered six gold medals in the SEA Games, including four in “kyorugi” where the gold medalists are assured of spots in the Asian Games.
Tokyo Olympian Kurt Barbosa (54 kilograms), Arven Alcantara (68 kg), Samuel Morrison (87 kg) and Rio de Janeiro Olympian Kirstie Alora, all of whom captured gold medals in Cambodia, will banner the team in the Asian Games.