The Philippine men’s and women’s taekwondo poomsae teams settled for bronze medals after yielding to traditional powerhouses during their semifinal matches at the start of the taekwondo competitions in the 18th Asian Games at the Jakarta Convention Center Assembly Hall in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday.
An opening for the gold medal match presented itself for the men’s troika of Dustin Jacob Mella, Jeordan Dominguez – who was replacing Raphael Mella from the gold medal-winning SEA Games squad – and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. after they defeated Iran in the quarterfinals, 8.339 vs 8.100.
But the trio rammed into the Great Wall, losing in the semifinals to China’s Zhu Yuxiang, Hu Mingda, and Deng Tingfeng, 7.830 – 8.180, to settle for the first bronze medal of the Philippine delegation.
The same fate befell the triumvirate of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto, and Janna Dominique Oliva, who failed to make it to the championship round after bowing to Unifed Korea’s Gwak Yeowon, Choi Dongah, Park Jaeun, 7.110-8.020, also in the semifinals.
“Hard luck. We lost in the semifinals, but we are very proud of the teams,” said Philippine Taekwondo Association national head coach Igor Mella.
The men’s team began their ascent to the semifinals after defeating Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16, 8.180-7.640 before securing the quarterfinal win over the Iranians.
The women’s team won over host Indonesia in the quarterfinals, 8.070-8.040, after edging Hong Kong, China in the round of 16, 8.000-7.490.
Other Philippine bets in the individual poomsae were not as lucky, as Reyes and Jocelyn Ninobla both failed to advance.
Reyes was eliminated by Thailand’s Pongporn Suvittayarak, 8.08-8.32, in the quarterfinals, after he advanced to the last eight by eliminating Ruslan Manaspayev, 8.08-7.08, in the round of 16. Ninobla fell by the wayside in the round of 16 to Vietnam’s Tuyet Van Chau, 7.89-8.11.
The men’s team’s semifinal tormentor China went on to settle for the silver after bowing to Unified Korea’s Han Yeonghun, Kim Seonho, and Kang Wanjin, even as the Koreans’ female side was upset by Thailand’s Chomchuen Kotchawan, Phaisankiattikun Phenkanya, and Sirisahakit Omawee, 8.200 to 8.210.