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Published: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 2:05:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 4:26:07 PM

Taekwondo: Sacrifices pay off for Rani

Taekwondo exponent Rani Ann Ortega is not too bothered about having to settle for the bronze in the team poomsae event.

Taekwondo exponent Rani Ann Ortega is not too bothered about having to settle for the bronze in the team poomsae event.

NAYPYITAW: Rani Ann Ortega is a true sportswoman as she has sacrificed her life to be thousands of miles away from her parents just for the love of taekwondo.

Her parents Boyet and Carol Ortega and elder sister Renee migrated to California in 2002.

Her dad works as a debt collector and her mother is a nurse while her sister is doing her PhD in psychology.

But Rani decided to remain in Manila with her grandmother to continue training in taekwondo, which she took up when she was 12.

The pretty 27-year-old has no regrets as she has featured for the Philippines a record seven times in the world championships – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

And she has done exceptionally well to win the gold medal in the women’s team poomsae (exhibitions) in Egypt in 2009; and the bronze in the team event in Russia in 2009, silver in Colombia last year and bronze in Bali last month.

Rani said that expectations in the Philippines were high for her and team-mates Rinna Babanto and Ma Carla Janice Lagman to win the gold in the team poomsae event in Naypyitaw after a good outing at the world championships in Bali last month.

“But we only won the bronze. However, I am not too concerned about it as our men exponents did well to win the team poomsae gold today in the SEA Games.

“To me, what is important are my achievements in the world championships.

“All my sacrifices of remaining in the Philippines, away from my parents for the last 11 years have paid off handsomely,” said Rani.

“I miss my parents a lot but I travel once a year to visit them. I thank them for allowing me to stay in Manila with my grandmother to fulfil my dream of helping my country win medals in the world championships.

“I feel proud to be in the taekwondo team and will continue representing my country as long as I can,” said Rani, who was disheartened and sad about the tragic death of so many of her countrymen due to Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines last month.

It was the deadlist typhoon to hit the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people.

“It was a sad and tragic day for my people as many lost their lives, shelter and livehood due to the catastrophe.

“The typhoon has inspired all the Filipino athletes to give their best at the SEA Games in remembrance of the people who died.”

Tags / Keywords: taekwondo, SEA Games, Myanmar, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw, Rani Ann Ortega

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