After winning seven gold, two silver and two bronze medals in Oceania Taekwondo’s 2021 Open Online Poomsae and Flying Side Kick Championships last May, Guam Taekwondo Center master coach Noly Caluag did wasted no time joining another tournament to keep the momentum going.
Twelve black belts from Guam Taekwondo Center donned their dobok (uniforms) and competed in the Asian Online Taekwondo Poomsae and Speed Kicking Championships last weekend.
“As the largest continent, Asia has produced an overwhelming majority of world taekwondo champions, mostly from South Korea,” said Noly Caluag.
Playing against the best in the world would be “no easy task,” added Noly Caluag, who competed at the 1982 Asian Taekwondo Championships in Taiwan as the Philippine middleweight representative.
“Going against 2,500 competitors from 18 countries is a tough task,” said Noly Caluag, who remained optimistic as they have been training almost every day since May.
After a grueling three-day tournament, members of the Guam Taekwondo Center won nine medals, including one silver and eight bronze.
Jaden Estrellado, competing in the men’s fine weight division, won the silver medal. The 18-year-old black belt’s second place finish in the speed kicking event was GTC’s best performance.
“The speed kicking tournament was a fun, but challenging event. I was happy to win a silver medal, but felt like I could have done better,” said Estrellado. “I would like to thank Master Noly and all the Black Belts for their support throughout the preparation for this competition.”
18-year-old Alyxa Oftana in the senior women’s flyweight division in the poomsae and speed kick events won bronze medals.
Duplicating Oftana’s medal harvest, 12-year-old Alessandra Leon Guerrero won the double bronze in the cadet women’s division.
In the speed kicking event, Guam’s other bronze medalists included Jed Caluag, Ed Lopez, Marc Solitana and Karsten Policarpio. The rest of the contestants, in the all-black belt delegation, included Ryan Gaza, Adriana Sabinay, Aj Dorion and Lyra Mugol.