By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
Negrense Angeline Alcantara, a mainstay of Hanah Taekwondo Gym, captured the gold medal in the 44kg category of the 2017 World Cadet Taekwondo Championships in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.
Alcantara brought home the top plum after prevailing over Oksana Smirnova of Russia, 18-3, in the finals. She narrowly missed the championship ticket after a close semi-final clash against Chaima Toumi that ended 7-5 in favor of the young Bacoleña jin.
“We almost lost the game as Angeline was behind, 5-4. But God favored us with the victory when Angeline landed a head kick for three points with eight seconds left to score the win,” Hanah Taekwondo head coach Vic Feria said.
Alcantara beat Ukrainian Sofia Mykhailova, 23-3, in the quarter finals following a lopsided 17-8 win against Elisabeth Turco and a 26-5 rout of Khushboo Kumari of India in the early rounds.
“God really has a purpose and a plan for this child. We fought against world’s high-rated players and even taller ones but Angeline finished victorious. God has seen our sacrifices and struggles to achieve Angeline’s dreams in the world tournament. And, of course, to her parents for their full support in our campaign,” Feria said.
“We are also very thankful to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano for all the help they extended to us in this journey. We are, likewise, grateful to the parents of my students at Hanah Gym who supported us and to our delegation head Mr. Harny Tabuada,” he added.
“When I get home, I will continue to work hard in order to produce a world champion player. It’s because at the end of the day, it’s all worth it.”/WDJ