SEA Games: In-form PH men's taekwondo team delivers gold


Posted at Aug 26 2017 04:51 PM | Updated as of Aug 27 2017 01:16 PM

The Philippines' Rodolfo Reyes Jr., Dustin Mella and Raphael Mella perform in the men's poomsae team final in the 29th Southeast Asian Games taekwondo competition at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on Saturday. The trio took home the gold. PSC/POC pool

KUALA LUMPUR — (UPDATED) After a barren Friday, the Philippines got on the gold-medal board again as the country grabbed its 16th mint in the 29th Southeast Asian Games at KLCC Hall 1 here.

The men's poomsae team in taekwondo delivered for the Philippines, with an average score of 8.40 points after two performances on a rainy Saturday afternoon. 

The Philippine team — composed of Rodolfo Reyes Jr., Dustin Mella and Raphael Mella — defeated Malaysia and Vietnam to secure the mint.

It was the country's second straight SEA Games gold in men's poomsae, having also won the top prize two years ago in Singapore.

Both Raphael and Dustin Mella were part of the team that won the gold in 2013 and 2015 SEA Games, while Reyes joined the team only this year.

It was Reyes' second medal of the day after he settled for bronze in the men's individual poomsae earlier.

Unfortunately, the Philippines could not make it a double gold in team poomsae.

The women's side — composed of Jocel Lyn Ninobla, Faye Crisostomo, and Rinna Babanto — settled for bronze after tallying a score of 8.27 points.

“All the hard work and sacrifices paid off. Lahat ng mga hirap namin sa training was worth it,” said the 22-year-old Dustin, a Business Economics student at University of the Philippines-Diliman.

“We trained almost half day daily plus yung workouts pa. Binigay lang naming ang best namin para sa bansa at naging patas naman ang mga judges,” Raphael said of the team that also won the bronze in the Korean Open in June.

Reyes was overwhelmed by the victory, saying their four years together helped a lot.

They will rest for a few days before preparing for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in September 17-27.

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