NANJING – Pauline Lopez kicked her way to a gold medal in the 2nd Asian Youth Games after beating Fariza Aldangorova of Kazakshtan, 4-2, in the girls' 55 kg final on Thursday at the Longjian gymnasium.
The 17-year-old Lopez, who is based in the US but was already part of Team Philippines in the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010, eked out a close 8-7 win over Rania Fawareh of Jordan in the semis to reach the gold medal round.
Her feat brought the country’s medal haul to two golds and two silvers with only two days of action left.
“I’m still shaking. I’m speechless. All the hard work paid off,” Lopez said after the win.
Mia Legaspi and Princess Superal scored a one-two finish in girls’ golf the other day, assuring the Philippines, whose campaign here is funded by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), of a better finish than in 2009 in Singapore (one silver and one bronze).
The gold medal of Lopez came barely hours after fellow jin Francis Agojo won another silver medal for Team Philippines.
Agojo dished out his best in beating Malaysian Navin Ari Krisnasamy in the quarterfinals, 11-4, and Kazakhstan’s Yerassyl Kaiyrbek in the semis, 9-8.
Agojo, an Ateneo student who will turn 17 in November, advanced to the 53 kg finals against Thailand’s Ramnarong Sawekwiharee but lost the match, 11-7.
The gold and silver finish was indeed, a victorious day for Philippine taekwondo, considering the level of competition in this 45-nation event for the best athletes aged 14-17.
Agojo fought his medal match with only his coach, Dax Morfe, and Lopez, cheering him on from the sidelines.