JAPOY Lizardo is in Myanmar for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, but won’t be competing with the national taekwondo team.
The 27-year-old jin will not see action in Nay Pyi Taw after suffering a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the biennial meet.
With his injury, Lizardo won’t be able to defend his gold medal in the over-54 kg event of taekwondo that starts on December 18.
“Nakuha ko ‘yung injury nung world championship last July,” said Lizardo, one of the popular taekwondo jins in the country. “Naputol ‘yung tendon ko sa hamstring, kailangan ng surgery. Naoperahan ako nung August.”
While Lizardo won’t be able to defend his title, he is still glad he can help the team in a different capacity as member of the coaching staff.
Lizardo said he was inserted in the coaching staff since he is one of the veterans of the team, who can share his insights to members of the squad with an average age of about 20-years-old.
“Sinama ako sa coaching staff dahil ako pa rin ‘yung team captain being one of the veterans sa team. Nakita ng mga coaches na malaking advantage ang maitutulong ko sa team,” said Lizardo.
“Most of the players, nakita ko na rin lumaban kaya siguro magbibigay ako ng advice at ma-scout din ‘yung kalaban,” he added.
Lizardo, however, clarified he is not yet retiring after dabbling into coaching.
“Hopefully, next year, makabalik ako at makalaro sa Asian Games,” said Lizardo.
Members of the taekwondo team to the SEA Games include Samuel Morrison, Vidal Marvin Gabriel, Paul Romero, Kristopher Robert Uy, Gershon Bautista, Dustin Jacob Mella, Christian Al Dela Cruz, Francis Aaron Agojo, Jade Zafra, Pauline Louise Lopez, Mary Anjelay Pelaez, Jane Rafaelle Narra, and Kirstie Elaine Alora.
National coach Dindo Simpao is confident about the chances of the team despite lacking in experience as far as SEA Games is concerned.
“This is a relatively new team because only three have previous SEA Games experience. But they are well experienced naman sa international competitions like the World Championships, Asian Youth Games, and Asian University Championships,” Simpao said.