THE SMART taekwondo poomsae national team made waves in the recent 8th World Poomsae Championships in Bali, Indonesia by collecting three gold, two silver, and one bronze medals to finish third overall.
Two-time world champion Mikeala Calamba sparked the Filipinos’ scintillating performance by winning the female individual freestyle gold and sharing another gold with Jocel Lyn Ninobla and Rinna Babanta in the female team (under 17 years old) competition.
Jean Pierre Sabido shared the limelight with Calamba by bagging the male team (under 29 years old) gold with Ernesto Guzman Jr. and Glenn Lava and taking the silver medal in the male freestyle individual event.
“It was a good finish for our athletes, more particularly Mikeala (Calamba),” said Philippine Taekwondo Association’s chief executive officer Sung Chon Hong of his wards, who were backed by SMART Communications Inc., MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT, TV5, Meralco and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Calamba also captured a gold medal in the last world championships held in Tunja, Colombia.
The other SMART/PH silver came from Vidal Marvin Gabriel, Dustin Jacob Mella and Raphael Enrico Mella in the male team (under 29 years old) competition, while Sabido, Ernesto Guzman Jr., Lava, Rani Ann Ortega and Ma. Carla Janice Lagman produced the bronze medal in freestyle team event.
Korea ran away with the overall crown with seven gold, six silver, and four silver medals, while Vietnam edged the Filipinos for the second overall slot by pocketing three gold, three silver, and five bronze medals.
Iran, another country which excels in taekwondo, landed in fourth spot with two gold, four silver, and five bronze medals.
Fifty countries, including Chinese Taipei, Japan, France, China and Singapore, were represented by their top performers in the tourney.