Cagayan de Oro’s Kevin Louis Sia stomped his class in the lightweight junior sparring division in the just concluded 9th ASEAN Taekwondo Championships in Hoh Chi Minh City, Vietnam last week. His sister, Shaneen Ched Sia also took home the gold in the poomsae (form) event for the female squad together with Francesca Alarilla and Carla Lagman. The siblings stand a good chance in playing for the country in the next Southeast Asian Games.

Shaneen Suia also took the bronze in the juinor sparring session in the featherweight division.

Overall, the Philippine taekwondo team won the overall title and bolstered its Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) preparations. The nationals, composed of veterans and upcoming jins, bagged 14 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze medals to dominate eight other teams from the region including host Vietnam, which settled for second with 10 golds.

“It’s the best finish of our team so far in this tournament, and a good sign on our SEAG preparations this December,” RP team coach Rocky Samson said yesterday in the SCOOP sa Kamayan Forum at Padre Faura. Samson added the feat also gave the rookie players enough confidence while honing their skills for their bid to be in the team which will see action in the SEAG.

The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) earlier announced it will send a mix team of veteran and neophyte athletes in the 21-event sport.
“We have promising young bloods. During that tournament, we saw how determined and positive they were. It’s a good exposure and experience for them. As long as they continue to improve and maintain their best conditions.

I’m pretty confident of their chances in the SEAG,” said Samson, who was accompanied by the team and RP poomsae coach Igor Mella. The victory also proved the depth of the RP team after PTA officials decided not to send Olympians Tshomlee Go and Toni Rivero, who are both lined up for tougher in the coming months.

The Philippines’ Smart team bagged 32 medals, including 13 golds, to win the overall crown and live up to its billing as Southeast Asia’s top taekwondo power in the recent 9th ASEAN (ATF) championships in Hochiminh City, Vietnam.

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