If fortunate enough, taekwondo could become the first team representing Team Philippines to secure a medal in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Kicking off the action for the “Deadly Dozen” are the poomsae competitors, including SEA Games champion King Patrick Perez and Jocel Lyn Ninobla.
Perez holds the No. 4 ranking in his category, while Ninobla is slightly favored to advance to the next round.
“They’re both ready,” said taekwondo official Rocky Samson.
Supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, the jins hope to recapture the magic of 2006 when Philippine representatives clinched 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.
“It’s a tough challenge, but we will give it our best shot,” added Samson.
The Doha edition marked the country’s most productive performance in the popular Korean sport since its inclusion in the quadrennial event in the 1986 Seoul edition.
Olympic champion Kurt Bryan Barbosa will lead the free sparring team, alongside multi-titled Samuel Morrison and Kirstie Ellaine Alora.
Other members of the “Deadly Dozen” include David Cea, Arven Alcantara, Veronica Garces, and Jubilee Briones. In the 2018 Palembang edition in Indonesia, the taekwondo jins finished 10th overall after securing three medals, including two in team poomsae events.
Unfortunately, the lone individual medalist, Pauline Lopez, will not be returning for this year’s edition.