Taekwondo: Officials tell national jins to focus on training, not online teaching

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2020 11:52 PM

Taekwondo: Officials tell national jins to focus on training, not online teaching 1
SEA Games gold medalist Samuel Morrison. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

National taekwondo jins shouldn’t be tapped to appear in online seminars organized by professional instructors because they should be focused on training. 

That reminder was issued by the Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA), the sport’s national governing body, after two national jins were caught in a bind for participating in a virtual training seminar without the PTA’s consent.

Southeast Asian Games (SEA) gold medalist Samuel Morrison and silver medalist Arven Alcantara submitted a letter of apology and a courtesy resignation to local taekwondo grand master Sung Chon Hong for the said infraction.

But PTA secretary-general Rocky Samson said Morrison and Alcantra have been pardoned and will remain on the national team.

“Sinabi ni Master Hong na, ‘Tell them I am not accepting the resignation and I am forgiving them. Don’t do that anymore. They have to focus on their training’,” Samson told ABS-CBN News.

Samson said Morrison and Alcantara were “misled” into believing they were cleared to participate in the seminar. 

“Sinabihan daw na pumayag na. Pinagturo sila. Nagulat sila after the session nag-deposit sa kanila ng pera. They felt wrong. Natakot sila baka sabihin na nag-sideline sila,” Samson said.

The online seminar was organized by former national team member and Sydney Olympics veteran Donnie Geisler, who said Morrison and Alcantara were invited to join the online session not to teach but to “inspire” the learners. 

“The purpose is to inspire the kids, for the champions to share their experience being part of the national team, not to teach,” Geisler said.

He added that the online session was scheduled beforehand to avoid disrupting the athletes’ training.

“I feel for the guys, I understand their need to protect themselves,” Geisler said.

“The talk was scheduled weeks before. And they were invited to talk at a schedule convenient to them.”

Morrison and Alcantara are among 5 Filipino taekwondo jins who have a strong chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The others are SEA Games women’s 57-kg champion Pauline Lopez, men’s 54-kg champion Kurt Bryan Barbosa, and 2016 Olympian Kirstie Alora.

Samson said that, based on protocols agreed on with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, national team members are barred from participating in online seminars without the PTA’s permission.

He said the protocols are in place to ensure that the jins will put their focus on their training.

“ ’Yung mga national team members natin ngayon, they are so much in training now. Bukod sa local events they are mandatory to join, there are speed-kicking events, poomsae events, every month may national championships ang PTA to organize . . . They have to join these to keep their condition up,” Samson said.

“Imagine kung lahat ng instructor i-request nila ang national team para magturo sa mga online class natin, hindi na sila makakapag-practice niyan. They have to concentrate on their training.”

Samson said the PTA has reminded Geisler about the protocols even before the incident involving Morrison and Alcantara. 

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