Jeffrey Ysmael, an Igorot engineer from Kalinga, won a gold medal at the 13th World Taekwondo Culture Expo in the under-40 Men Poomsae category in South Korea.
Engr Ysmael, who works with the City Building and Architecture Office of the local government of Tabuk City represented the Philippines against fellow taekwondo practitioners from various countries including Spain, Croatia, Greece, Iraq, Ghana, Finland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kyrgyzstan, Zambia, the United State of America, and many others.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the annual world event decided that the competition be virtual with participants submitting their video performances.
Through the Philippine Taekwondo Association, Ysmael was able to get details and criteria and so he decided to send his video to the competition.
"When the PTA sent me the details I decided to make my own video then sent it and was happy to have won the 40-under category," Ysmael said in the vernacular.
The competition was opened last year and the awarding was done this year.
The city government honored Ysmael in a simple ceremony for his achievement.
Ysmael is a consistent member of the Philippine Taekwondo Association team at various world taekwondo competitions.
He also won a silver medal in the LENTS World Taekwondo Championship in the same category. It was also held last year and is awaiting the award to be sent to him.
Ysmael also champions martial arts as an element of workouts to stay healthful especially this time of the pandemic. He coordinates local taekwondo associations as his contribution to keeping the youth away from bad influences.