The Philippine Star
Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Robert Aventajado sees a medal - of any color - for taekwondo in the coming Beijing Olympics.
"After seeing them in Korea, I think we have a real good chance of winning a medal," said Aventajado of taekwondo jins Tshomlee Go and Mary Antoinette Rivero who are training in Korea.
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It will be the second stint in the Olympics for Go and Rivero who fought in Athens four years ago, but failed to land a medal. A lot has changed since then, and now they look ready to make it.
While Aventajado, president of the Philippine Taekwondo Association, sees a medal for either or both athletes, what color he isn't sure.
"I don't know what color," he said.
Aventajado said he can't speak for the other sports where the Philippines will be represented in the Beijing Games which fire off on Aug. 8.
"I can't say anything about the other sports because I'm focused in taekwondo," he said, referring to the other disciplines like boxing, archery, swimming, diving, shooting and track and field.
But boxing, he went on to say, is capable of landing a medal, too.
"Traditionally, you cannot discount boxing because it has delivered the medals in the past," said Aventajado of the country's lone entry, light-fly Harry Tañamor.
"It's hard to predict for the others. But anything can happen there," he said.
Go and Rivero have been in Korea for more than two months now, and have undergone rigid training under the masters of the sport.
"Unorthodox," was how Aventajado described the training that involves sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Rivero, who was barely 16 when she competed in the Athens Olympics, was even made to spar against male taekwondo jins, and showed so much determination.
In one of the sessions, Rivero was even hit on the groin, but she just shook off the pain and went on with the sparring.
The two Pinoy jins worked under four Korean coaches, who felt that their students from a rival country in the sport have what it takes to land a medal in Beijing.
A medal of any color, Aventajado would welcome. - Abac Cordero/Philstar