December 2, 2022
OFF TO SEAG 2022 — Three Cordilleran taekwondo athletes, namely Kurt Barbosa, Justin Kobe Macario, and Jeordan Dominguez will be part of the national taekwondo team that will represent the Philippines in the kyorugi and poomsae events in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May. — PSC graphic

Three Cordillerans led by 2020 Olympian Kurt Barbosa will carry the country’s flag as they were called to be part of the national taekwondo team to see action in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Barbosa of Bangued, Abra will compete in kyorugi (combat) side of the event along with world-class TKD athletes Arven Alcantara, Israel Cantos, Dave Cea, Samuel Morrison and Kristie Alora.
Joining them are Rheza Aragon, Jessica Canabal, Sharifa dela Cruz, and Laila Delo.
The 22-year-old Barbosa powered the kyorugi team during the Manila SEA Games in 2019 with a masterful 26-10 win over his Indonesian opponent to rule the finweight division.
He remains one of the best TKD athletes in Asia and one of the few athletes to win the rookie-MVP of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Former freestyle world champion Jeordan Dominguez and Asean champion Justin Macario will compete in the poomsae (form) event along with Juvenile Crisostomo, Rodolfo Reyes, Jr. Patrick Perez, Nikki Oliva, Raphael Mella, Joaquin Tuzon, and Darius Venerable.
Earlier, Macario has joined the elite ranks of world-class Filipino TKD poomsae athletes.
Macario ranked third in the March 2022 World Freestyle Poomsae ranking for male over 17 years old with 38.27 points trailing Andreas Bregnballe Sorensen of Denmark with 56.32 points and Namhoon Lee of Korea with 60 points.
Macario is a product of Baguio City National High School who was recruited by the National University to form part of its multi-awarded team before he was again offered better scholarship package by the University of Sto. Tomas.
The Philippines topped the taekwondo event during the Manila 2019 SEA Games with eight gold and nine silver medal haul, surpassing the country’s 2-3-4 medal output in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017. – Harley F. Palangchao