By Gab Ferreras, contributing writer
Several members of the Philippine National Taekwondo - Poomsae & Kyorugi team reigned supreme in the 2021 SMART / MVP Sports Foundation Asian Online Open Taekwondo Championships held last July 10-12, organized by the Philippine Taekwondo Association.
The country's top jins, majority of which played in the recent Asian Taekwondo Championships in Lebanon last June, ruled in different categories in the 3-day event against other Asian and Philippine-based practitioners.
Raphael Enrico Mella - Senior Male Blackbelt 24-26 y.o.
Rodolfo Reyes, Jr. - Senior Male Blackbelt 27 y.o. & above
Aidaine Krishia Laxa - Senior Female Blackbelt 20 y.o.
Jocel Lyn Ninobla - Senior Female Blackbelt 25 y.o. & above
Joaquin Dominic Tuzon - Senior Male Blackbelt 19 y.o.
Rinna Babanto - Senior Female Blackbelt 25 y.o. & above
Janna Dominique Oliva - Senior Female Blackbelt 25 y.o. and above
Justin Kobe Macario - Senior Male Blackbelt 19 y.o.
Realis Tabiando - Senior Female Blackbelt Light A
Dave Cea - Senior Male Blackbelt Light C
Dex Ian Chavez - Senior Male Blackbelt Bantam A
Joseph Chua - Senior Male Blackbelt Bantam B
Israel Cantos - Senior Male Blackbelt Heavy B
Loralee Natividad - Senior Female Blackbelt Light B
Jeordan Dominguez - Senior Male Blackbelt Light B
Veronica Garces - Senior Female Blackbelt Fly B
Baby Jessica Canabal - Senior Female Blackbelt Bantam A
Rheza Aragon - Senior Female Blackbelt Bantam C
Rhezie Aragon - Senior Female Blackbelt Feather A
Kurt Pajuelas - Senior Male Blackbelt Bantam C
On the other hand, another young standout Raiza Huxley Mangliwan, daughter of Tokyo Paralympics-bound Jerrold Pete Mangliwan, grabbed the gold medal in the Speed Kicking Cadet Female 2nd-1st Kup Welter.
Cebuana jin Rinna Babanto, who won the silver medal in the Poomsae event, shared her thoughts on the recent Asian Open during a one-on-one interview with this writer.
"Okay naman ang experience, tapos yung performance ko okay since fresh pa kami sa training namin sa bubble, so ayun ginamit ko pa rin mga strategies na ginagawa ko palagi para manalo.", Babanto said in a interview with Sports on Air.
When asked if online competitions like this should be continued even when the ongoing pandemic ends, Babanto explained: "Its a possibility, kasi i think di naman siya mawawala, for the safety of other countries, it really depends sa countries or like locally, i mean depends sa tao kung gusto nila ma-risk, i will never know kung anong mangyayari in the future, but i think co-continue pa rin depende na lang kung sino ang maghahandle ng competition."
The PTA leadership assures that there would be more online national competitions lined up for this year.
National jins triumphed in the Asian Open Taekwondo Championships