T’kwondo’s Babanto gains SEAG berth over Calamba
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Reigning world poomsae champion Mikaela Calamba has been replaced by fellow Cebuana Rinna Babanto in the national taekwondo team set to vie for honors in the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar next month.

Calamba, who captured her second consecutive individual freestyle crown in the recent Worlds in Bali, Indonesia, begged off from the SEAG due to “family matters and school,” according to coach Jean Pierre Sabido.

The coaching staff decided to tap Babanto, a teammate of Calamba that won the team female under-17 division gold medal in the last world tilt. 

“We’re disappointed (that Calamba could not join) but we’re still confident because we have a competitive team, we have a member of the gold-winning team to take her place,” Sabido told The STAR.

Babanto will join Rani Ann Ortega and Ma. Carla Janice Lagman in gunning for the mints in Myanmar.

Competing in men’s poomsae are Raphael Enrico Mella, Vidal Marvin Gabriel and Dustin Jacob Mella.

“We expect a tough competition so we’re doubling our efforts in our preparations,”” said Sabido.

Babanto is among the newest members of  the Phl delegation, which now stands at 209 athletes.

The SEAG task force has approved the late inclusion of wrestler Jimmy Angana, wushu bets Kariza Kriz Chan and Natasha Enriquez in duilian event and muay fighters Philip Delarmino, Preciosa Ocaya, and Jonathan Polosan.

BABANTO CALAMBA CARLA JANICE LAGMAN CEBUANA RINNA BABANTO JEAN PIERRE SABIDO JIMMY ANGANA JONATHAN POLOSAN KARIZA KRIZ CHAN AND NATASHA ENRIQUEZ MIKAELA CALAMBA MYANMAR
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