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Taekwondo champ eyes medal in World Grand Prix


BAGUIO CITY – Former world taekwondo poomsae champion Jeordan Dominguez is eyeing at least a medal in the 2019 World Taekwondo Grand Prix when competitions start on June 7 in Rome, Italy for the demonstration or form component of the Korean martial arts.

“It will be the first time that poomsae will be included in the grand prix,” said World Taekwondo Federation president Chungwon Choue in his invitation to all national federations, including the Philippines.

Dominguez said only the world’s top eight players were invited to the tournament in the “Eternal City”, of which he is the fifth-ranked.

“[Only those] ranked 1 to 8 ng world ang mag lalaban-laban and I’m so lucky po na-invite ako (at) nasa rank 5 po ako ngayon (Only those ranked 1 to 8 of the world will be competing and I’m lucky to be invited since I’m currently ranked 5),” Dominguez told Philippine News Agency (PNA) through Facebook message on Thursday.

“But I(‘ll) try my best in tomorrow’s start of the competition,” said Dominguez, who won a bronze in the team poomsae of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Dominguez will face top-ranked Tae Joo Na of South Korea, Lin Yu Han of Taiwan, Dhin Khul Nguyen of Vietnam, German Lukas Stein, Russian Mikhail Pustovit, Abouhrammn Darwin of Indonesia and Michael Bush of Canada, the youngest at 19.

In his invite, Choue said the Rome world grand prix from June 7 to 9 is the first for poomsae event of the world championship for the form category of the sport, which has been around since 2006.

“As you know, the Grand Prix series has rapidly become taekwondo’s premier league tournament series for Olympic-level Kyorugi (combat component of taekwondo) athletes. It has raised standards, and upgraded media exposure for our sport,” he added.

He said prize money will be given to winning athletes.

Dominguez — who replaced Raphael Mella from the gold medal-winning SEA Games squad — was in the troika of Dustin Jacob Mella, and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. that defeated Iran in the quarterfinals, 8.339 – 8.100. But they literally rammed into the Great Wall in the semifinals when they lost to China’s Zhu Yuxiang, Hu Mingda, and Deng Tingfeng, 7.830 – 8.180, to settle for the first bronze medal of the Philippine delegation.