(World Taekwondo photos)

FOUR UST Tiger Jins starred for the Philippines, plucking out five medals at the Muju Taekwondowon 2023 World Taekwondo Poomsae Open Challenge held in Muju, South Korea from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5.

The Tiger Jin-studded national team finished the three-day tournament with a 1-2-2 gold-silver-bronze medal tally in the national and open category of the recognized and freestyle poomsae events.

Former Lady Jin Jocel Ninobla, a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist, paired with DLSU’s Patrick Perez to bag the gold medal in the mixed pair under-30 recognized poomsae open category with an 8.745-point performance.

Ninobla snagged her second medal after finishing second in the individual female under-30 recognized poomsae event with an 8.635-point average.

In freestyle poomsae, Tiger Jin Darius Venerable likewise settled for silver, finishing with 8.980 points in the national team individual male over-17 competition. This marked his second medal in one week after notching gold in the 2023 Riyadh World Combat Games on Oct. 30. 

Venerable said he is grateful for the team’s consistent medal streak in national and international competitions. 

“Sobrang laking blessing para sa amin kasi nagbubunga ‘yung pinaghirapan at pagtutulungan namin,” Venerable told the Varsitarian

Lady Jin Maria Nicole Labayne scored 8.510 to cop the bronze medal in the national team individual female under-30 recognized poomsae. 

Tiger Jin Jeus Yape banded with Perez and NU’s Ian Corton to win the country’s second bronze medal, scoring 8.70 points in the team male under-30 recognized poomsae open category event.

Over 500 jins representing 19 countries participated in the event. This is the tournament’s second edition; the inaugural edition was held online in 2022.

The Tiger Jins are now gearing up for the national team selection slated on Nov. 25 at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay.