ONE of the country’s top medal hopes in taekwondo in the coming Asian Games will not be around after suffering an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear on her right knee.
Lanky and lovely Jade Zafra suffered the freak accident during training last month, forcing her to miss out on the quadrennial meet set to start on September 19 in Incheon, South Korea.
“Malungkot kasi four years kong hinintay ‘yung Asian Games tapos na-injured ako,” Zafra, a former staff of Spin.ph, said. She is now undergoing rehabilitation.
Until the injury, Zafra was seen as one of the Philippines’ brightest prospects in taekwondo after winning a gold medal in the featherweight division of last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Although saddened by the turn of events, Zafra said she’s now looking forward to completing her rehab and returning to training as she set her sight on a second successive gold medal in next year’s SEA Games in Singapore.
The Philippines has yet to win a gold medal in taekwondo since the event was made a regular sport in the Asiad calendar in 1994.
The Filipino jins won four bronze medals in the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China courtesy of Tshomlee Go, Japoy Lizardo, Paul Romero, and Kirstie Elaine Alora – all of whom incidentally, will be carrying the country’s colors in Incheon.
Go and Toni Rivero won two silvers for the Philippines in the 2006 Asiad in Doha, Qatar.
But South Korea, where the sport originated, is expected to put up a strong showing in the quadrennial meet while fighting before home fans.