THE worthy finish achieved by the Philippine poomsae team in last week’s world championship augurs well for its coming campaign in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Coach Igor Mella expects the Filipino jins to reach their peak once they start competing in the biennial meet set December 11-22.
Since coming back from its campaign in the 8th World Poomsae Championships, the team only took a brief rest before resuming its training as it tries to maintain the form that netted the country three golds, two silvers, and a bronze in Bali, Indonesia.
“Galing kami sa high level competition that boasts a field of 50 countries, kumbaga `yun ang pinaka Olympics ng poomsae, kaya maganda ang chances natin (sa SEA Games),” said Mella in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“We always win at least a gold in the SEA Games, so we don’t want to go below our standard.”
Poomsae or form which Mella described as the fast-growing branch of taekwondo, will have a total of five events to be disputed in the biennial meet, namely individual male, individual female, team male, team female, and mixed pair, although a country can only field entries in just three events.
Mella said the team is looking to compete where it has the biggest chance of winning a gold medal.
“We’ll compete where we’re strong at, and sa team tayo malakas in the past,” said Mella, joined in the public sports program presented by Shakey’s and the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, by former world champions Rani Ann Ortega and Janice Lagman, world gold medal winner Jocel Lyn Ninobla, and many-time SEA Games gold medalist Japoy Lizardo.
Ortega, who bagged a bronze along with Lagman in the freestyle team event in the last world championship, said Filipino jins won a gold (team women), a silver (mixed pair), and a bronze (individual male) in the 2011 SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
But she added the Filipinos are looking at Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and even host Myanmar as the ones likely to crowd them in the battle for the gold.
The Vietnamese, according to her, finished runner-up in the world championship after nosing out the Philippines by just a single silver medal, while The Thais finished sixth, and the Indonesians in 10th place.
“Nag-improve lahat ng countries, marami ng players ang naging involved sa poomsae,” Ortega said. “We also don’t underestimate Myanmar na hindi talaga sumali sa world championship para lang maghanda sa SEA Games."
Added Mella, “so you can see na `yung mga SEA countries nasa Top 10 ng world championship, kaya I see an exciting competition in the SEA Games.”