Morrison claims taekwondo gold

Gerry Carpio - The Philippine Star
Morrison claims  taekwondo gold

Samuel Morrison holds the Phl flag after securing the gold in the lightweight division of taekwondo, beating Indonesia’s Dinggo Ardian Prayogo, 28-18. JUN MENDOZA

POC protests another pinoy Jin’s loss

MANILA, Philippines -  Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison used his vast experience to pile up the winning points with his long turning kicks to put away Indonesian Dinggo Ardian Prayogo, 28-18, in an action-packed finale to claim the lightweight open under-74 crown in the 29th Southeast Asian Games taekwondo competitions last night at the Kuala  Lumpur Convention Center here

The win was a big vindication for compatriot Arvin Alcantara whose opponent, Malaysian Rozami Bin Rozali was adjudged the winner after their match in the featherweight (-68) class ended in a draw, 17-17.

A golden point was to be disputed to determine the winner but the referee declared Alcantara had made his 10th infraction (gamjeon) when he fell to the ground in the last 13 seconds of the game. The Filipino camp saw only nine penalties. Under the rules of taekwondo 10 penalties result in automatic disqualification.

The Philippine camp protested the verdict before the awarding ceremonies were to take place but the Malaysian officials advised the technical officials from the taekwondo association not to file the protest because it is an affront on what taekwondo jins refer to as the “purity of the score”.

A protest will damage the reputation of the Philippine Taekwondo Association if the panel of judges rules out the protest. Officials explained the protest would not prosper.

However, Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco said the POC would pursue the protest even if the taekwondo association would not.

Alcantara, who was being treated for a sore left from a kick in the first round, took the loss in stride.

“I came here expecting to win the gold, but I respect the decision. I will make up for this in future international tournaments,” he said, referring to the Asian Games next year, the 2019 SEA Games in Manila in 2019 and the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Morrison used his final match against the Indonesian to avenge that defeat to the Malaysian. He played a technical game where he used his turning kicks – curling kicks and one turning kicks – worth two points to score heavily throughout the three-round competition.

After a 7-7deadlock at the end of the first round Morrison landed a long turning kick to level the count at 10-10, sending the Indonesian to the floor grimacing in pain. It took over three minutes before the game resumed and when Prayogo was back on his feet, Morrison scored on two lightning fast kicks to widen the gap to 19-10.

The Indonesian put in a courageous stand even as he felt the pain in his hips from the kick of Morrison.

Morrison remained on the lead until the final whistle.

Defending champion Pauline Lopez lacked the aggressiveness that her opponent, taller Vietnamese Nguyen Ha Thie exhibited as she yielded the crown in the lightweight (-62kg) semifinals and settled for the bronze.

On his way to the finals Morrison was equally devastating as he crushed another Vietnamese, Ly Hong Phuc, 16-11, to advance to the gold medal round. He was lucky to have been paired against the Indonesian who advanced from the golden tiebreaker after the match ended in a 9-9 deadlock.

With two gold medals, counting the gold medal of the men’s poomsae team, the taekwondo jins are on course for a projected four-gold medal haul going into the last two days of the taekwondo competitions.

Rhezie Camana Aragon is already assured of a silver in today’s three-woman competitions in the bantamweight division. She is seeded into the finals where she fights the winner in the semifinal bout between Mariska Halinda of Indonesia and Jasmin Nabila Binti Bukardi of Malaysia.

Tomorrow three more bets will see action. Defending champion Kirstie Elaine Alora (middleweight) fights Sirimantham Sonesavanh of Laos for a place in the semfinals.

Francis Aaron Agojo (bantam) is pitted against Cambodian Va Mithona in the quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals will be held in the afternoon.

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