King Patrick Perez took the bragging rights as the first medal winner of Team PH by taking the bronze in the men’s individual poomsae in the 19th Asian Games on Sunday, September 24.
Combining speed and grace, Perez won his first two rivals in the recognized event before losing to Asia’s No. 2 in Taiwanese Ma Yun Zhong in the semis of the freestyle event at the Lin’an Sports Culture and Exhibition Centre.
The Taiwanese lived up to his status by tallying 7.450 against Perez’s 6.910.
Despite the defeat, Perez, 23, was still a picture of contentment, saying: “I did my very best but I lost to a better player today.”
“I could not believe I won a bronze, I am really happy,” he added.
Philippine Taekwondo Association Secretary-General Rocky Samson is hoping Perez’s bronze medal win will rub off on his teammates, especially in the sparring category.
Perez, a product of La Salle, posted7.700 points to dispatch Souksavanh Chanthilath of Lao People’s Democratic Republic who tallied 7.440 points. Against Nepal’s Limbu Prem Bahadur, Perez put on another spectacular show for 7.560 points and won pulling away after his rival managed only 7.160.
The first casualty in the 12-man taekwondo team was Jocel Lyn Ninobla after facing one of Korean aces in Cha Yeaeun in the Round of 16.
Ninobla performed well, logging 7.560 points but the Korean did more jaw-dropping moves and posted 7.680 to prevail.
On Monday, Sept. 25, SEAG champion Kurt Bryan Barbosa launches his gold medal bid against Uzbek Omonjon Otajonov in the men’s -58kg.