Philippine jins win six golds, one silver and eight bronzes

PHNOM PENH — The Philippine taekwondo team produced its best performance in the Southeast Asian Games since the 2019 edition at home with its six golds, one silver and eight bronzes here.

Poomsae champs Patrick Perez (men’s individual), Jocel Lyn Ninobla, Nicole Labayne and Aidine Laxa (women’s team) and kyorugi rulers Kurt Barbosa (men’s -54kg), Arven Alcantara (men’s -68kg), Samuel Morrison (men’s -87kg) and Elaine Alora (women’s -73kg) led the medal rush in the highest haul since winning 8-9-4 in Manila.

Head of delegation Rocky Samson said the Pinoy jins actually exceeded their pre-tournament target.

“We were targeting four golds — at least two in poomsae and two in kyorugi,” said Mr. Samson, whose team ranked second overall behind Thailand (7-6-2).

The recognized poomsae men’s team of Mr. Perez, Ian Corton and Joaquin Tuzon accounted for the lone silver while Ms. Ninobla and Mr. Corton (recognized poomsae mixed pair), Jeordan Dominguez, Darius Venerable, Justin Macario, Juvenile Faye Crisostomo and Zyka Angelica Santiago (freestyle mixed team), Veronica Garces (women’s -45kg), Nicole McCann (women’s -57kg), Joseph Chua (men’s under-65kg), Dave Cea (men’s -80kg), Baby Jessica Canabal (women’s -53kg) and Laila Delo (women’s -67kg) got bronzes.

The jins easily surpassed their 2-5-2 collection last year in Hanoi, doing so despite rules setting a limit on events non-Cambodian countries can enter.

“Our team performed better compared to the last Vietnam SEA Games,” Mr. Samson said. — Olmin Leyba