The lean squad from the Association for the Advancement of Karatedo (AAK) Davao struck for three gold medals in their first ever appearance in the tough 7th Vietnam Open Karatedo Champioships at the Cau Guiay Indoor Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam over the weekend.
The 3-man crew assembled by veteran mentor Rommel Tan did not disappoint despite losing two of its top bets in the final minute.
Sofia Agulo swept her class with two golds in the 15-17 years old girls kata and kumite while John Paul Ponce took the 14-16 boys kata gold.
Promising 7-year old karateka Atsuko Kaiyel Tan, Tan’s daughter who has already a wealth of international experience accross her name, settled for the silver in the girls under-10 kata as she had to compete against older and bigger entries.
Ponce also added a bronze in the kumite for a 3-1-1 output for the Dabawenyos in the 8-nation event.
Jam and Jana Ramirez, two bright prospects of AAK Davao, were pulled out at the last minute after the death of a family member.
“We could have gained more with Jam and Jana in the team but winning three golds was the target with only three entries we brought here,” Tan told Edge Davao from Vietnam.