Sparring is a remarkable sight when the match becomes a game of strategy, more than brawn.
In the end, Baguio City’s own Rama Chandra A. Liporada redeemed himself, besting a nemesis who handily defeated him in their first outing only a month ago.
His victory placed the final haul of Team Baguio to eight gold, three silver, and six bronze medals in kyorugi (sparring) at the 2002 National Carlos Palanca, Jr. (CPJ) Taekwondo Championships.
The CPJ is an exclusive gathering of previous medal winners in national and international tournaments.
On the final day of the tournament, Liporada, who also dons the colors of the University of Sto. Tomas, was the last gold medal hope of Baguio against veteran internationalist and Philippine Team mainstay Dexian Chavez, also of National University.
It is the second time they are scrapping for flyweight supremacy.
In their first outing at the 45th National Taekwondo Championships last September, Chavez quelled the younger Liporada in two rounds.
Liporada then settled for bronze. Chavez eventually settled for silver, after bowing out to the towering Aljen Aynaga of UST.
As expected, Chavez steamrolled his opponents earlier on.
On the other hand, Liporada threaded needle en route the finals, winning over Aynaga of the University of the Philippines stalwart Vincent Aaron Yango, and former University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 Most Valuable Player Lawrence Borres of Far Eastern University.
With eight matches between them, Liporada and Chavez battled from the get-go.
When the dust settled, Liporada’s well-timed adjustments and newfound game maturity elevated him to being the “best of the best” in the country… until the next national tussle.
In the distaff side of the seniors’ category, Baguio Defenders Gym’s Nayeli Quianna Sumadchat and UST jin Realis Tabiando each settled for bronze.
During first day of hostilities on Oct. 8, Chris Levi Culallad welter and Kamille Faith Revelina Calaycay each bagged gold medals in the juniors’ male and female tilt, respectively.
Justin Paul Atienza and Ashley Diaz settled for bronze.
In the male cadet, Joshua Aaron Erece, Zashter Khaine Mendoza, and Jun Adrian Wagtingan carted three gold medals while Rihannah Kate Caguioa snatched lone gold for the girls.
Aithan Ogoy, Kaden Cassidy Mendoza, and Caitlin Brooke Atienza settled for silver, while Rolyn Matthew Salay and Zayn Ashley Segun grabbed a bronze medal each.
Alexandria Daphnie Aganon garnered the lone gold in the girls’ grade school contest. – PIO release