PHI bet qualifies for Asian trampoline gymnastics finals
ABS-CBN Sports on May 20, 2018 05:32 PM
(Gymnastics Association of the Philippines logo)
Benjamin Jesus Mendoza played hometown hero last Saturday, placing fifth overall in the qualifying round to reach the finals of the men’s seniors division of the 4th Asian Trampoline Gymnastics Championships at the University of Makati basketball gym.
Mendoza kept his routine simple and mistakes to a minimum to garner 81.390 points in securing the No. 5 spot among the eight finalists in the tournament.
Kazakhstan’s Pirnammad Aliyev topscored with 101.695 points, North Korea’s Kim Yun Song was second (95.395) while Iran’s Amirreza Mesgari Hagh was third (93.010) in the finals scheduled yesterday.
The other Pinoy men’s senior campaigner, Francisco Deorelar, fell two spots short, placing 10th with 62.430 points.
In a minor breakthrough of sorts in the women’s senior division, Erin Abaniel took the bronze medal in the field of three entries with 11.70 points, with India’s Shivani Dound (35.635) and Siddhi Breed (28.515) completing a 1-2 finish in the tourney also supported by the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board.
“Majority of the strong senior teams like Japan, South Korea and China did not field teams here because they are training for the FIG Trampoline World Cup in Maedashi, Japan in July since it is an Olympic qualifying event to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” explained tournament director Evan Gandia.
“This was completely unexpected and came as a surprise for me considering the fact that the other competitors had better routines and very strong,” said Mendoza, a former men’s artistic gymnast, whose performance was a miracle in itself after suffering a severe knee injury just a few years ago.
“Judging how he performed it was hard to believe that he blew out his left knee some years back,” Gandia, who also is the PH team manager, bared. “This shows the character and discipline of the athlete.”
Asked about what he was looking forward to in the finals, Mendoza, a graduating student in Sports Science at the UP Diliman, replied: “I don’t have any pressure because I was able to accomplish my goals which was to qualify for the finals.”
China dominated the qualifying round of the juniors competition of the two-day meet serving as the qualifying event for Asia for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.
The Chinese secured the top three places in the boys division, with Wu Wei leading the way with 101.685 points, edging out teammates Kang Ning (100.605) and Fu Fantao (100.585), who were second and third, respectively.
Yan Junyi was also tops in the girls division with 97.695 points, narrowly beating teammate Xinyi Fan (97.60) to second while Japan’s Okuno Yuki (95.65) was third.
Relegated to the sidelines were PH junior bets Shane Francis Peralta, who placed 21st and last among the entries (33.425 ) in the boys division and Fiona Mae Ventenilla, who was at the bottom in the 15-field girls division with 21.270 points.
The gold, silver and bronze medalists in both divisions will be Asia’s representatives to the Buenos Aires YOG.