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Ninobla defends taekwondo title

It was very successful.

Jocelyn Ninobla showcased her prowess on local turf by claiming two gold medals in taekwondo at the close of the 8th Philippine Sports Commission-Women’s Martial Arts Festival at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Currently at No. 2 in the world rankings, Ninobla scored 8.37 points to seize the gold medal in individual poomsae before leading the national squad to her second victory in the women’s freestyle team event.

The 26-year-old Ninobla, a back-to-back Southeast Asian Games champion, joined hands with Jona Keith Castillo and Janna Dominique Oliva in the team poomsae gold after they collectively scored 7.16 points.

PSC commissioner Olivia “Bong’’ Coo led the closing ceremonies after six days of action featuring 11 combat sports in the event organized by the PSC and supported by Pocari Sweat and Go21 where the finest athletes from the national team participated.

“It was very successful,” Coo said.

“We had 628 athletes who participated, and we were able to show that a lot of women are into martial arts. This was also an opportunity to encourage more women to participate in these sports and learn to defend themselves.’’

The Women’s Martial Arts Festival also served as the initial tuneup for the members of the national teams in pencak silat, karatedo, sambo, kickboxing, taekwondo, wrestling, muaythai, jiujitsu and kurash in their buildup for the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Bangkok exactly a year from now.

In the kyorugi event in taekwondo, finweight Rajany Darlyn Santos of National University defeated Samantha Siboc of San Beda University while Abegail Valdez of University of Santo Tomas ruled the flyweight division after beating fellow national team member Veronica Garces.

Other winners in the event where the national poomsae team also performed a demonstration of their mastery at the closing rites were Raven Allyson Pablo (bantamweight), Realis Tabiando (featherweight), Jubilee Briones (lightweight) and Aila Mathel Calip (welterweight).

Kickboxers from the national team likewise ruled their weight categories with Renalyn Dacquel defeating co-Philippine team member Aimee Ramos in the 52kg class and Gretel De Paz beating Catherine Soria of Team Baldugan (Pasig City).

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