Southern Mindanao's taekwondo jin refuses to give up
TAGUM CITY, Philippines – In the classic tale of David and Goliath, the underdog proved size doesn’t really matter. In the end, David knocked out the giant.
In the semifinals of the elementary girls taekwondo of the Palarong Pambansa 2015, Joy Geraldine Timbal had her fingers crossed, hoping her story would be a modern day ‘David and Goliath.’
The Southern Mindanao bet Timbal charged through the mat armed with nothing but her will to win but even with an enormous amount of heart, she failed to fire her slingshot and strike her rival down.
Worse, Timbal hit the ground.
The final battle
A jump kick connected and landed right on Timbal’s knees sending the Palaro first-timer to the middle of the mat. As the medical team rushed to check on Joy, everyone thought the fight was over.
But it wasn’t.
The referee asked the officials to stop the match but the 9-year old hesitated. Even with the gnawing pain that sent Timbal into tears, she stood on her feet, put her helmet back on and continued the battle.
“Tinignan ko yung score tapos nung nakita ko na lamang lang siya ng dalawa kaya lumaban pa rin ako,” said the soft-spoken Timbal. “Kahit masakit, hindi ko naisip na magquit.”
(I looked at the score and when I saw that the lead was only by two points, I still fought. It was painful but I never thought of quitting).
As Timbal decided to fight on, cheers for the rookie from the sweltering crowd echoed inside the G Mall but at the end of the match, Region 10 dominated and walked away as the victor.
Timbal’s quest and dreams of clinching a silver medal in the biggest multi-sporting grassroots in the country came to an end.
Never too young
The Davao-native Timbal rushed to her mother’s arms after the game and a pool of mixed emotions filled the atmosphere.
“Gusto ko talagang manalo pero hindi ko pa pala kaya,” said an emotional Timbal. “Next year babawi talaga ako.”
(I really wanted to win but I still can’t do it yet. Next year, I’ll do better.)
At the age of 6, Timbal already became fascinated with the sport. Despite her spindly figure, she was never discouraged.
“Hindi namin siya pinilit na mag-taekwondo,” said Giralyn Timbal, Joy’s mother. “Siya talaga yung may gusto ng sport na ito.”
(We didn’t push her to taekwondo. She was the one who wanted to do this sport).
True enough, one is never too early to start training nor is someone too young to start dreaming like a veteran champion.
“Nung first time ko nakita na may nagsisipaan sa gym malapit sa amin, sobrang naging interesado ako,” shared the incoming grade 4 student Timbal. “Simula noon, hindi na ako tumigil kasi nagustuhan ko siya ng sobra.”
(The first time I saw taekwondo at a gym nearby our house, I immediately got interested. Since then I didn’t stop because I liked the sport so much).
Even without knowing what love means, Joy has already grasped the concept of it through taekwondo---without a doubt, it was love at first sight.
Joy explained she was able to help her parents financially through the sport and has been a huge help in her life as a kid.
“Tinitipon ko yung mga napapanalunan ko at ipinangbibili namin ng pagkain. Sobrang nakakatulong rin siya kasi dahil dito, naging strong ako.”
(I save up all I make through the sport and I use it to buy food for our family. Taekwondo has helped me to become a strong person).
Despite losing in her Palaro 2015 stint, Timbal is still determined to comeback with a bang. With her “Never say die,” attitude, she could already on her way to greatness. – Rappler.com