Despite fielding only thirteen players in a tournament joined by more than 400 players all over Mindanao, Team Tacurong proved it can compete with the best players after amassing four gold medals, 2 silvers and four bronzes.
The tournament, dubbed as Mindanao Taekwondo Championship and 1st Gov. Emmylou Mendoza Invitational Taekwondo Tournament, was hosted by Kidapawan City and lined up as one of the activities in the centennial celebration of the foundation anniversary of Cotabato Province.
The participating delegations came from as far as Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City from Region 10. Players from Davao City, Digos City and Tagum City were among those who represented Region 11, while almost all provinces and cities in Region 12 also came to compete.
Team Tacurong, one of the delegations with fewer players, was headed by City Councilor Rodrigo Jamorabon and coached by Charles Naecolt Saavedra.
The gold medalists for the City of Goodwill included Mary Angeli Yap, Angela Jane Segura, Aaliyah Freno and Vassily Purazo.
Two players, Regine Paba and John Daniel Espino, competed in the finals but settled for silver medals instead. Four other players rounded up the medal tally by getting the bronze medals: Carl Echavez, John Dexter dela Fuente, Jomer Sotto and Joana Marie Espulgar.
Meanwhile, the presence of former taekwondo Olympian and actor Monsour del Rosario highlighted the Mindanao-wide competition. Del Rosario, who is also a city councilor of Makati, delivered an inspirational message to all the young athletes and also gave ample time to sign autographs and pose for several photo sessions.
Del Rosario was joined Philippine Taekwondo Association Region 4A/4B Chairman Mario Frigillana and Stephen Fernandez, the only member of Philippine Taekwondo Team who won a bronze medal for the country during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Several athletes also swarmed him for autographs and photo sessions. (LGU Tacurong City Information)