Nica Garces joins the growing number of Cebuano jins who excel in international competitions after bagging the silver medal in Kyorugi (sparring event) in the Chuncheon Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships 2019, last Tuesday, July 9.
She beat South Korean Han Nayeon with 9 – 7 in the first round and outclassed South Korean Yura Kim with 26 – 15 in the second round. After crushing Lingmin Li of China with 23 – 17, she earned her way to the semifinals. There she lost to South Korean Mi-reu Kang with 40 – 24 in the Women’s Senior under 46-kilo finals.
The 20-year old medalist is now a member of Team Pilipinas and currently studying at the National University. She is a former member of the University of Cebu’s secondary taekwondo team under Michael Realista. Aside from her, Cebu’s young athletes Rinna Bobanto, Aidaine Laxa, and Joce Lyn Ninobla also bagged the group Gold in the women’s team category of Authorized Poomsae after defeating Korea’s Team A.
The Korea Open is the preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) which will be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 this year. The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) Region 7 Chairman Tony del Prado is hopeful that Nica’s performance will earn her a spot in the Southeast Asian Games taekwondo team.