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MHSS athlete bags gold in nationwide taekwondo competition

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pauline Marie Cipriano, Malayan High School of Science's multi-awarded taekwondo athlete, gold medalist in the Heavyweight Division of the 2013 SMART Carlos Palanca Jr. Taekwondo Championships.

Proving that its tradition of excellence goes beyond academics, a student athlete from Malayan High School of Science (MHSS) bagged the gold medal in this year's SMART Carlos Palanca Jr. (CPJ) Taekwondo Championships held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last February 2–3.

Pauline Marie Cipriano, a fourth year high school student, bested other taekwondo black belters coming from different parts of the country in the heavyweight division of the tournament. Some of the participants are members of the Philippine Taekwondo Team.

This victory was probably one of the most impressive finishes for Cipriano, as she had to adjust her tactical approach during the entire competition and even had very little time to train.

"I wasn't used to wearing the electronic armor or what we call the daedo armor as well as the daedo socks," Cipriano said. "I didn't even get the chance to prepare that much because I only had a month for training due to the amount of workload that we had in school."

Her opponent during the final round was a member of the 2012 National Team, which made the task even more daunting, but her coach Noel Almaida, a former member of the Philippine Taekwondo Demo Team himself, was confident that they had already made the necessary preparations for the match.

"Despite the limited amount of time that we had, we made sure that Pauline was always in good condition, both physically and mentally. We also focused on improving her foot works and stamina," said Almaida. "I'm so proud of her. All her hard work and dedication have paid off."

MHSS Principal Dr. Efren B. Mateo adds, "We weren't really surprised with the results because we were already anticipating another gold medal finish considering her skills in the sport. But still, we're very happy for her. This victory affirms our goal of working for the holistic development of our students."

Although winning the gold in the SMART CPJ Taekwondo Competition wasn't able to secure Cipriano a spot back into the Philippine National Team, her goal still stands.

"My goal is to keep on training and grasp every opportunity I encounter. I won't let another year go by without trying my best to get back into the team," she said.

Some of Cipriano's recent achievements also include winning the silver medal in the Milo Little Olympics, SMART CPJ, and SMART National Age-Group competition in 2011 as well as getting the gold medal in the 2011 Invitational MAPSA Competition and 2012 SMART National All Women's Taekwondo Championship.

The SMART Carlos Palanca Jr. Taekwondo Championships is an annual competition sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, SMART Communications, MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT, Meralco, TV5, and Milo. This year, nearly 800 athletes from all over the country gathered to vie for the top spots.

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