PH bet Laila Delo succumbs to German foe in their World Taekwondo match in Mexico

PH bet Laila Delo succumbs to German foe in their World Taekwondo match in Mexico

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Laila Delo fell short of her bid to advance with a first-match loss to German Vanessa Koerndl on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) in the World Taekwondo Championship at the Centro Acuatico CODE Metropolitano.

In a lone match for the six-man Philippine delegation on the second day of top-tier actions, the University of Santos Tomas alumnus under coach Paul Romero tried to fight back with some semblance of toughness but the German was simply on her elements, nailing a 2-0 win.

“I was trained hard for this kind of situation and under a hostile environment but still mistakes happen. Gustong kong bawian pero malakas ang mga paa, narindi katawan ko,” said Delo, the country’s top contender in the regional meet with podium finishes in the past two editions of the Southeast Asan Games.

“Balik po sa training, back to drawing board. Kailangan maging handa sa SEAG at pipilitin kong makabawi,” she added.

Right after the fight, the frustrated Delo was immediately comforted by her teammates and officials led by the head of delegation former Senator Dominique ‘Nikkie’ Coseteng who later treated the team to BBQ Korean bento lunch.

After an Asian show on Day 1 on Monday where China and Korea grabbed the gold medals, homegrown girl Leslie Soltero treated the crowd with masterful annihilation of rival Isabelle Faber of Luxembourg in her first match, 2-0 (12-0, 12-0) en route to the gold medal round where she went ballistic against Aleksandra Perisic of Serbia for 6-5 triumph in the women’s -67 kgs to the delight of the home crowd, some of whom even wept tears of joy.

“Yung tigas ng paa ng nakalaban ni Laila (Delo) sa first round, mas matibay itong Mexican. Laila can learn a thing or two dito sa Mexican,” said team manager Rocky Samson.

“Training agad ang team focus sa susunod na mga laban,” he added.

Next for the Filipinos is newcomer Alfritz Arevalo who faces Alin Ali of Sweden in the men’s -68 kgs on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

Southeast Asian Games veteran Dave Cea fights Japanese Yasahuro Hamada in the men’s -74kgs on Thursday while Joseph Chua meets Niko Saarinen of Finland in the men’s -63kg on Friday Mexican time.

Tokyo Olympics veteran Kurt Bryan Barbosa faces Sanoh Lancery of the Republic of Guinea, while Baby Jessica Canaba, crosses paths with Bulgarian Selen Gunduz in women’s -43kgs.

(ai/mtvn)

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