The Philippine Tae kwon do Association (PTA) has named four jins for the Asian Tae kwon do Olympic Qualification scheduled on April 16 to 17 at the Mariott Convention Center Grand Ballroom in New Port City Complex in Pasay City.
Summer World University Games silver medalist Samuel Thomas Morrison Harper will spearhead the country’s campaign in the two-day meet along with 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Pauline Louise Lopez, and 2013 Myanmar Southeast Asian Games champions Kristopher Robert Uy and Kirstie Elaine Alora.
Morrison will be seeing action in the men’s under 80-kilogram while Uy vies for honors in the men’s over 80-kg. Lopez goes for gold in the women’s under 57-kg. and Alora takes part in the women’s over 67-kg.
The four jins were selected based on their showing in training camp supervised by national team coaches headed by Rocky Samson, Roberto Cruz and Stephen Fernandez, as well as their impressive records in international competitions.
More than 150 jins from 35 countries are expected to arrive in the country, aiming to qualify to the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Powerhouse Iran, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Yemen are heading the list of foreign teams in the two-day meet sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).
According to Organizing Committee Chairman and PTA CEO Sung Chon Hong, there are four events in the men’s division – under 58-kg., under 68-kg., under 80-kg. and over 80-kg. – and four events in the women’s class – under 49-kg., under 57-kg., under 67-kg. and over 67-kg. – to be played in the tournament.
The Filipino jins are aching to claim slots in Rio Games after failing to qualify in the 2012 London Games.
The last time the Philippines participated in the tae kwon do competition of the Olympics was in 2008 in Beijing, China courtesy of Tshomlee Go (men’s under 58 kg) and Mary Antoinette Rivero (women’s under 67 kg).
But Go and Rivero fell short in their respective campaigns.
So far, there are only three qualified Filipino athletes for Rio Games.
They are Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray in athletics), and Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez in boxing. Two swimmers (one male and one female), and female trackster will be added in the list as token representatives while athletes from weightlifting, judo, shooting are just awaiting the official announcement of their respective international federations.