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June Ninobla, Cyd Esmaña strike gold in Asian Poomsae


Veteran Filipino jin June Ninobla proved once more that age is just a number after he bagged two medals, one of them gold, at the recently concluded 2021 World Taekwondo Asia Poomsae Open Championships, Wednesday afternoon.

The Asian Championships silver medalist took the gold this time in the men’s under-60 category after posting a final score of 7.430, with silver medalist Liao Yun-Cheng of Chinese Taipei’s 7.090 a far-second.

Australia’s Ill Joong Yang and India’s Balram Yadav took the bronzes with 6.940 and 6.770, respectively.

Ninobla, 51, showed power and good connection on his movements to get a 7.380 in Koryo. Then he exhibited balance beyond his years to get an even higher score of 7.480 in Keumgang.

The World Championships third-placer had won a bronze medal the previous day after he and daughter Jocel Lyn bagged the bronze in the family pair category with a 7.790.

Cyd Edryc Esmaña also bagged a gold for the Philippines after topping the men’s cadet individual category with a huge 7.680 score line.

The teenage wonder from Iloilo impressed with his power in Taegeuk 5 for a 7.620. He then followed it up with good control for a solid 7.740 in Taegeuk 8.

Taking silver in the family pair category are brothers Vincent and Paul Rodriguez after garnering an average score of 7.850 — just 0.030 away from champions Nur Humaira Abdul Karim and Nurul Hidayah Abdul Karim of Malaysia.

Also adding a silver is Shellah Agman in the female individual Children 1 class with a 6.920. Thailand’s Matachanok Wongwangchan was the runaway winner with a solid 7.540.

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The Filipino jins also bagged the bronzes in the female individual freestyle with University of the Philippines product Nikki Oliva, in the male individual under-30 with former University of Santo Tomas standout Junior Reyes; and erstwhile De La Salle University captain Angelica Joyce Gaw in the female individual under-30.

Two budding jins added two more bronzes with Julianna Martha Uy and Acey Kiana Oglayon finishing in third and fourth place, respectively, in the female individual cadet category.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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