One month of rigid training, series of tournaments, and training camps—those were the Philippine Karatedo team went through to bring home silver medals on the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, according to their coach, Reiner de Leon.
After the awarding rites on Wednesday in Malacañang Palace, karatedo silver medalists shared their winning experiences during the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur earlier this morning.
“In-expose po namin sila sa series ng tournaments. Una, Asian level, tapos ‘yong one month bago ‘yong SEA Games pinadala namin sila sa Europe doon sila nag-series of (tournament)… may training camp bale,” de Leon shared earlier in Bagong Pilipinas.
For Rexor Tacay, who was a 3rd-time SEA Games Karatedo athlete, still cannot believe that he reached the final round and bagged a silver medal.
Cheers and support from his teammates and parents gave him more strength to fight and get the medal.
“Bale this is my 3rd time na po sa SEA games, pero ngayon lang ako nakakuha ng individual medal,” Tacay said.
“Parang ‘yong laban namin doon, parang hindi ko ma-explain, hanggang ngayon hindi ako makapaniwala na nakapunta ako sa finals, kami po, iba ‘yong pakiramdam kasi nagche-cheer ‘yong teammates mo tapos nandoon nagsu-support ‘yong mga parents naming,” he added.
Tacay also said that it was not easy to win the game since all the competing countries brought their best athletes, however, for the sake of the country, the Philippine team did their best.
As for Mae Soriano, who won two silver medals: for individual and team division, got all the experience she needed after her six SEA Games tournament.
Soriano shared that having a heart of a champion is the key to get the medal.
“Siguro dahil pang-6th times ko na sa SEA games, medyo nand’on naman na po lahat ng experience, pumasok na doon lahat. Sa tulong ni God talaga, if you believe in Him, tapos believe in yourself, and you have a heart of a champion, talagang masusungkit mo kung ano ‘yong gusto mong makuhang medalya.”
Furthermore, John Paul Bejar who was a SEA Games first timer felt pressured as they carried country’s name on the tournament, but still, he took the silver.
“Sa SEA games po, na-experience ko po, actually, first time ko po maglaro sa SEA games kaya medyo nakakakaba para sa akin. Na-feel ko ‘yong pressure nang kaunti kasi syempre dinadala namin ‘yong bansa natin na sana makakuha ng medalya.”
Bejar also had a controversial match with a Malaysian athlete in the semifinals, after a foul was not called to the Malaysian athlete but still won the game.
“Nakalaban ko po kasi ‘yong mismong host ng SEA games, ‘yong Malaysia po sa semis kaya po nagkaroon ng medyo hindi magandang result sa semis. Bale ang nangyari po ng time na ‘yon hindi po nabigyan ng foul ‘yong kalaban ko po, na dapat po… (nagkagulo ba?) yes po. Pagdating do’n parang bino-boo po kami, hindi po na-award ‘yong foul sa kanya, still pinapanalo po ‘yong kalaban.”
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte led the awarding rites for Filipino athletes who won in the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.