BINTULU (April 7): Sarawak’s Poomsae Taekwondo Team defied expectations by winning a silver medal and five bronze medals recently at the 15th Asean Taekwondo Championships in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
When contacted, head coach Pui Jak Joon said the Poomsae State team performed remarkably well.
“Personally, for the team to win medals is beyond my expectations, but it’s the result of their hard work.
“It is also due to the commitment of the parents, although in these two years of the Covid-19 pandemic they are still sending their children to train,” he said.
Zara Nur Zafirah Mohd Yusof and Fedealis Kom won the silver medal in the Cadet Mixed-Pair event.
Emylda Bernadette Disen and Randy Owen Augustine Linggi combined for a bronze medal in the junior mixed pairs event.
Sarawak’s other four bronze medals came from seven Poomsae representatives from the Bintulu Smart Taekwondo Club (WTF).
They were by Marylyne Bungan Liang and Steffano Atom Stephen (Senior Mixed-Pair); Willemien Lai Lini (Junior Women’s Individual); Velson Ki Su Heng (Men’s Senior Individual Freestyle); as well as Austin Jason Pui, Phan Chen Huan and Phan Chen Wei (men’s freestyle team).
Pui also thanked the Sarawak Taekwondo Association for the opportunity given to him to lead the Sarawak Taekwondo Poomsae team to gain valuable experience in the tournament.
“I would also like to extend my special thanks to the Principal of Bintulu Vocational College, Jamali Mohamad, for giving the opportunity to one of the college’s athletes, Velson Ki, to compete,” he said.
Velson’s participation in the tournament was sponsored by the college’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).
“I hope this excellent performance can elevate the fighting spirit among other junior taekwondo representatives to achieve greater success in the sport.
“I hope we will be able to produce more high quality Poomsae athletes to represent the state and our country in other bigger tournaments in the future,” Pui said.
The 14-member team was led by Pui, Korean coach Taeyoung Yun and assistant coach Virtlam Umpau.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Taekwondo Association President Azizul Annuar Adenan said the team will now join other athletes from the respective divisions for additional training to prepare for the Premier International Taekwondo Championships. of Sarawak Borneo Cup scheduled for August.