Multi-medalist and SEA Games defending champion John Paul Lizardo will not be able to defend his title at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar after he was injured during his participation in the World Taekwondo Championships in Bali, Indonesia early this month.
Lizardo did not expect to suffer a thigh injury at the world championship which is one of the preparatory events en route to his SEA Games campaign.
“I am very sorry that I won’t be able to play for our flag and for our country. I was injured during our last tournament, and I already told our national coaches that I can’t make it in time for the SEA Games,” said Lizardo.
Taking Lizardo’s spot is the 2nd Asian Youth Games silver medalist Aaron Agojo, who also has brought home many gold and silver medals in the World Youth Taekwondo championships.
“Aaron (Agojo) deserves the slot. We are hoping that he is capable of bringing home the gold medal,” added Lizardo.
The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) is also hoping that the Philippine poomsae team will also deliver after their promising performance at the recently concluded world poomsae championship.
Coach Igor Mella said that the Filipino jins are aiming to make it to the finals of all events that they will be participating in the most important biennial sporting event in the region next month.
“We just recently participated in a high level competition that boasts a field of 50 countries. The said event is considered the Olympics of poomsae, that’s why we believe that we have great chances in SEA Games,” added Mella.