Olympian jin Kirstie Elaine Alora expressed confidence the Philippine taekwondo team can match their three-gold medal haul in the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in this year’s edition of the biennial meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to be held from August 19 to 30.
Alora, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, said the Philippine kyorugi (sparring) team that also includes Pauline Lopez, Aaron Agojo and Samuel Morrison is showing great promise in their training that started in January.
“I think we can match our previous three gold medals in the Singapore SEA Games,” Alora, who won the gold in the over 73kg category during the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Friday.
“But all participating countries in the SEA Games are competitive so we can’t relax,” she added.
The 27-year old jin said the team is doing conditioning in the morning and strategies and techniques fine-tuning.
Besides Alora (-73kg women), Lopez (-62 kg women), Agojo (-58 kg men) and Morrison (-74kg men), Rhezie Aragon (-53 kg women) and Arven Alcantara (-68 kg men) will also represent the Philippine kyorugi team in the coming SEA Games.
The men’s poomsae team members for 2017 SEA Games are Dustin Mella, Raphael Mella and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. while the women’s team is made up of Jocellyn Ninobla, Juvenille Faye Crisostomo and Rinna Babanto.
The Philippine team won three gold medals courtesy of Lopez and Morrison in the kyorugi event and the men’s poomsae team in the Singapore 2015 SEA Games.
The country also had three silver medals and two bronze medals to finish second behind Vietnam, which secured five golds and three silver medals. Thailand placed third with 3-2-3 gold-silver-bronze medal output.
Sixteen gold medals are at stake in the taekwondo competition of this year’s SEA Games.