Abigail Faye Valdez, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student from Caloocan’s Escuela de Sophia, gave the Philippines a bronze medal in the recent World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Burnaby, Canada.
Competing in the -45-kilogram weight category, Valdez hurdled her rivals from Sweden (12-0) and Iran (7-6) in her first two matches before falling to a Vietnamese fighter (1-3) to settle for the bronze.
Two other members of the Philippine squad which carried the colors of Meralco/MVP Sports Foundation – Beatrice Kassandra Gaerlan and Harvey Vincent Santos – reached the quarterfinals.
The other Filipino participants in the tournament which lured 1,200 jins from 102 countries were Gabriel Elpidio Lamarca, Raymundo Alombro III, Carlo Dominic Dionisio, Gian Carlo Gutierrez, Sal Luiji Estrada, Gabriel Salaknib, Alvaro Joaquin Aranton, Ezra Balingit, Veronica Garces, Baby Jessica Canabal, Florence Mae Chavez and Laila Delo.
Congressman and Philippine Taekwondo Association Secretary General Manuel Monsour del Rosario III headed the national squad, with Dindo Simpao and Napoleon Dagdagan Jr. as coach.
The Philippine team’s participation was supported by Smart Communications Inc., PLDT, TV5 and Philippine Sports Commission.