By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – A Canadian-Filipino has captured a bronze medal in the recently-concluded U.S. Open tae kwon do tournament at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
Thirteen-year-old Isis Oro, an eighth-grader from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada placed third among 22 competitors in the 37-kilogram bracket, which included a Filipino-American.
Oro, whose father hails from Kalibo, Aklan, was one of 1,922 competitors from 62 countries in the five day tournament, Feb. 19-23.
No one competed from the Philippines, but several Filipino-Americans were among the participants, in the competition considered one of the most prestigious in the sport.
One of the Fil-Am participants was Marissa Manabag from San Jose, who captured the silver in Oro’s weight class. The gold went to American Anapaula Aguillera.
“There was pressure because there were people from different countries, almost from around the world,” said Oro, who started competing when she was 10 years old. “But it was good experience when I compete for the world qualifying in July.”
Her father, Henary Oro, said that Isis will compete in July to determine the Canadian team for the world tae kwon do championship on September 16–23 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Isis had won the gold two straight years – 2012 and 2013 – in the Canadian Open and also captured the gold in the Pan Am championship in Mexico in November 2013.
“I’m nervous but excited at the same time,” said Henary when his daughter “fights. “But the whole family supports her and go with her to her tournaments.”
The oldest in a family of two boys and two girls, Isis started the sport at age 8.
Displaying her natural talent and skill, she beat a Russian and then a competitor from Taipei in her first matches to qualify for the finals. She lost to Aguillera, the gold medalist in her final match.
Two bronzes were awarded after the gold and silver.
“I did my best but I only got the bronze,” Isis said, revealing her innate feistiness. “Next time, I’ll do better.”