By Adrian Stewart Co
Iloilo MVP Taekwondo Gym standouts Cyd Edryc Esmaña and Julianna Martha Uy made the country proud with their podium finishes in the 2021 World Taekwondo Asia Online Poomsae Open Championship on Tuesday.
Esmaña delivered Team Philippines’ first gold medal in the three-day virtual taekwondo competition after reigning supreme in the Recognized Individual Blackbelt male poomsae category.
Esmaña, a mainstay from Ateneo de Iloilo, ruled his event when he garnered 7.680 points beating his opponents from Hong Kong (7.560), South Korea (7.550) and Thailand (7.530).
Meanwhile, Uy also made her presence felt for the national poomsae team of head coach Rani Ortega after clinching a bronze medal in the Individual Blackbelt Cadet female category.
Uy, who is also from Ateneo de Iloilo just like Esmaña, finished third in her event with her 7.690 points. Fellow Filipina Acey Kiana Oglayon also got a bronze medal with her 7.630 points.
According to Iloilo MVP Taekwondo Gym head coach Denmark Pinggol, he is proud of the improvement of Esmaña and Uy as they were able to keep in step with taekwondo jins from other countries.
“Actually, we never thought that we could win a gold since our mindset was just to give our best in every round but we are thankful to God for His guidance and giving us the courage to surpass all the challenges that we have encountered,” he said.
United Arab Emirates-based Shellah Agman was the other medal winner for Team Philippines when she captured a silver medal in the Women’s Individual Blackbelt – Children 1 category.
Meanwhile, two more members of the national team in Maria Nicole Labayne (5th) and Aesha Kiara Oglayon (9th) fell short in their bids in the Women’s Individual Blackbelt – Junior category./ASC, WDJ