GenSan champ shines

February 05, 2019
Paul Anthony Rodriguez
Paul Anthony Rodriguez of General Santos City displays his winning form in taekwondo in the Batang Pinoy-Mindanao leg. Photo courtesy of Ayang Mallare

TAGUM CITY – Paul Anthony Rodriguez of General Santos City  dominated the taekwondo competitions, Grace Signacion of South Cotabato and Justin Matthew Basadre of Koronadal City sustained their impressive showing in archery in Day 2  of the 2019 Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg  here Tuesday.

Rodriguez, ever so eager to make his mark in the sport and fulfill his dream of making it to the Olympics, captured three gold medals in  junior individual, junior pair and junior team poomsae events to emerge as one of the winningest participants in the week-long competition organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Rodriguez scored 7.815 points to beat Clint Solitana of Malita (7.335) and Daniel Abella of Cagayan de Oro (7.130) in the junior individual.

He later teamed up with Aleya Rayzel Labao to finish with a total score of 8.020 points  and clinchthe gold in the junior pair.

Ezekiel Limpin and Aliyah Baquial also of General Santos City  finished second with 7.550 and Abella and Kyle Canios of Cagayan de Oro  wound up third with 7.485.

Rodriguez made it three golds as he joined  Limpin and Benedict Opao for a total score of 7.685 points in team event, way ahead of Nica Indino, Abdul Usop and Henry Lu of Maguindanao (7.400) and Earl Visaya, Louise Valle and Hannah Blanagan of Davao del Norte (7.350).

“Masaya po dahil talagang nag-train hard kami para makalaban dito (Tagum). Tapos ngayon, nanalo ng golds,” said Rodriguez, a Grade 7 student at Holy Trinity College in Gen. Santos City who made it to the national juniors team following an impressive performance in the Mindanao leg last year.

The 13-year-old Rodriguez said his dream is to make it to the Olympics.

“My dream is to compete in the Olympics someday. Gusto ko i-represent  ang ating bansa sa Olympics at ibang major international meets, he added.

In archery, Signacion and Basadre topped their respective individual Olympic round division in a fitting follow-ups to their triumphs in the yeoman girls 20-meter and bowman boys 30-meter events, respectively.

Signacion win over Samantha Isabel Loreno of Koronadal City in the yeoman girls’ final round while Basadre defeated Quin Myer Loreno  of South Cotabato in the bowman boys.

Sharing the limelight were Karl David Mejillano and Geanne Gasendo of South Cotabato, who ruled the  yeoman boys and bowman girls’ individual Olympic rounds.