by Kiana Cardeño

The University of the Philippines (UP) Taekwondo Poomsae Team reclaim their spot on the podium with a second runner-up finish in the UAAP Season 81 Taekwondo Tournament on Tuesday, November 6, at the Ateneo Blue Eagle Gym.

De La Salle University (DLSU) claimed the championship title with three gold medals and one silver, while University of Sto. Tomas (UST) finished first runner-up with one gold and three silver medals.

The UP players garnered a total of four medals from the five poomsae categories, bringing home one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals for State U.

A repeat of their Season 79 victory, Nikki Oliva, Aina Callos, and Patricia Jubelag bagged the gold in the women’s poomsae division.

Women’s Team Captain Nikki Oliva brought home silver for the Women’s individual category with an average of 8.10 points. Oliva lost to De La Salle University’s Rinna Babanto by a mere 0.08 points.

The mixed pair of Jayboy Buenavista and Patricia Jubelag finished third with an average score of 8.015.

The Men’s team comprising of Roman Sta. Romana, Juan Sandoy, and Lyan Llanto settled for third in their category.

“Proud ako sa naging outcome kasi wala kami sa podium last year. Proud ako sa teammates ko kasi nandun yung drive, nandun yung heart nila,” graduating player Oliva said.

Men’s Team Captain Sandoy said that his teammates did their best as they surpassed expectations. They were able to beat stronger teams in the different poomsae categories.

UP Poomsae Coach Janice Lizardo said that the team has a lot to improve on in terms of confidence.

“I saw some mistakes today and I think they need more confidence when it comes to the experience of competing,” she said. This can be built through joining more competitions, Lizardo added.

Nonetheless, she was proud of the outcome. “Training palang, I saw the fire. I saw the determination that they really wanted to win,” she said.

The UP Taekwondo Kyorugi Team will continue to battle it out from November 7 to 9 at the Ateneo Blue Eagle Gym. They are hoping to bag another double podium finish this Season 81. TNP

Photo by Kiana Cardeño

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