Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Pauline Louise Lopez is the first to see action for the Philippine team taking part in the 2013 World Tae kwon do Championships in Puebla, Mexico.
Lopez battles Anyelina Yeny of Chile on Thursday (Friday in Manila) in the opening round of the women’s -53-kilogram event.
The tournament, sanctioned by the World Tae kwon do Federation, drew more than 100 countries.
Reigning SEA Games champion Kirstie Elaine Alora sees action in the women’s -73kg. on Friday (Saturday in Manila) against Alana Peraldi of New Caledonia, while fellow veteran campaigners Paul Romero and Jade Zafra compete on Saturday.
Romero battles Thomas Auger of Australia in the first round of the men’s -63kg. while Zafra starts against Ruxandra Rodgers of Canada in the women’s -57kg.
Other members of the team are John Paul Lizardo (-54 kg.), Keno Anthony Mendoza (-58 kg.), Gerson Bautista (-68 kg.), Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison (-74 kg.), Christian Al dela Cruz (-90 kg.) and Kristopher Robert Uy (-87 kg.) in the men’s division, and Korina Paladin (-46 kg.), Nicole Abigail Cham (-49 kg.) and Jane Rafaelle Narra (-67 kg.) in the women’s class.
Powerhouse South Korea is leading the medal tally with two golds, one silver and one bronze while France, Thailand, Iran and host Mexico have one gold each.
Roberto Cruz coaches the Philippine men’s team) and Dindo Simpao the women’s team.
EMIL C. NOGUERA