INCHEON, Korea - If turning heads could win medals in the 17th Asian Games, the Philippines could have won two golds already.
Pauline Louise Lopez, gold medalist in the 2013 Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, and one of the gold medal bets in the Philippines’ campaign, is the first of the Filipina charmers.
The taekwondo team’s visit to the fitness gym near where the rest of the Philippine delegation is housed was a drawer.
Donned in silver sweat jacket and a black cap that matched her leggings, Pauline was quickly noticed by an international field that included their rivals from Hong Kong.
The HK jins had to stop their training session to give way to the Filipinos who greeted them with a courteous bow.
The Pinoy jins could have been the first Philippine team to spend some time at the gym. The other teams spent their practice days in their practice or in the competition venues.
The jins will start competing on Tuesday.
Katharina Melissa Lehnert also charmed the crowd when she played her matches before the weekend closed for the tennis team which only got close to winning a bronze but failed.
But the crowd flocked in all of the 20-year old netter’s matches, drawing oohs and ahhs with her every shot.
They loved the way she strutted in the courts.
They waited each and every time she pulled the ball from the seams of her shorts.
They stared at her every wink, wince, and smile.
And even before she ended her Asiad campaign, Lehnert and Philta (Philippine Tennis Association) leaders have received management offers not normally given to any other Filipino athletes.
“She has a nice personality and an aura that attracts fans,” said Romeo Magat, an old hand at Philta and an official of the Philippine delegation here.
It would not be improbable if Lehnert earns her first product endorsement soon.
Besides, she would not be called the ‘Sharapova of the Asiad’ if she hasn’t got it.