Olympian Kurt Barbosa leads starry cast in the SMART/MVP Sports Foundation National Carlos Palanca, Jr. Taekwondo Championships slated on October 8 and 9 at the Ayala Malls, Manila Bay, Pasay City.
The country’s lone bet in Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and two-time Southeast Asian Games champion is the favorite in the -54 kgs. class in the tournament organized by the Philippine Taekwondo Association as part of the organization’s qualifying selection for slots for the 2023 National Team.
Hence, the tournament also serves as tune-up to members of the Philippine Team set to compete in the World Taekwondo Championship in November in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as the Asian Taekwondo Championships, Asian Junior/Cadet Taekwondo Championships and the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games set next year.Also joining in the competition sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee and MILO are Barbosa’s fellow National University standout and Manila 2019 SEAG gold medal winner Dave Cea, National mainstays Arven Alcantara, Alfritz Arevalo, Joseph Chua, and Laila Delo Baby Jessica.
Over 1,000 participants from PTA affiliated organizations, schools and clubs nationwide confirmed their participation in the Kyorugi (free sparring) and Poomsae (form) events.
The Kyorugi will feature Senior, Junior, Cade, Grade School and Toddler fighters for both male and female, while Poomsae will be divided into two events – Recognized (Individual, team & Mixed pair), and Freestyle (Individidual and Mixed pair).
Varsity players who competed in last week’s inter-collegiate championships also sponsored by SMART/MVP Sports Foundation pitched in making the tournament the toughest and challenging for Philippine Team hopefuls.
The PTA is also encouraging parents to actively guide their children into sports likewise inviting sports enthusiasts to witness this event. Competition starts at 9:00 a.m. onwards.