Young jin finds fulfillment in taekwondo


Pauline Lopez

Rising taekwondo star Pauline Lopez said that she has no regrets not living an ordinary teenage life because of her dedication to her sport.

The 19-year-old member of the Philippine taekwondo team said that it was her father Efren, a member of the Philippine taekwondo team during the 1980’s, who encouraged her to get into the sport.

“My father inspired me to pursue my taekwondo and I don’t have any regret not living an ordinary teenage life. I learned how to balance my studies and my training, which is good,” Lopez told The Manila Times via overseas call from Los Angeles California.”

Lopez won gold medals in the 57 kg class during the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games and the 55 kg class in the 2013 Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China.

Lopez is currently preparing for next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the World Taekwondo Championship in Korea.

“Next year will be very busy, I’m a gym freak also. I want my body to stay fit all the time. I’m conscious about my diet.”

Lopez said she learned a lot from her failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics, “I learned a lot from that loss. I’m focusing now on the next Olympics because four years are very short, I will bounce back. I will train smart and very hard,” said Lopez.

Not allowing a setback to affect her, Lopez won the gold by beating Korean Lee Ah-Reum, 8-6, during the 57 kg finals of 22nd Asian Tae Kwon Do Championship in April at the Mariott Hotel in Pasay City.

The victory made her the first Filipino to win a medal in that meet since Robert Cruz won a gold medal in 1999, also here in Manila.

Cruz is now serving as a coach for the national taekwondo team.


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