Oftana captures senior gold medal in poomsae tourney

COMPETITION: Master Noly Caluag, center, chief instructor and organizer of the 2021 Master Noly’s Taekwondo Poomsae Tournament, joined the black belts and first round of winners for a group photo during the awarding ceremonies. From left, first row: Cayden Cabanting, Fareen DeLeon, Tiffany Wang, Zander Nucum, Troy Nucum, Jaeven David, Savi Cruz, Haley Pinaula, Tyler Wang and Gavin Twaddle. Second row: Calvin Cabanting, Jacob Pineda, Zhaila Nucum, Adrian Nebres, Audrick Bacani, Jennie Lynn Littlejohn, Vicente Ventura and James Bernales. Third row: Lyra Mugol, Adriana Sabinay, Karsten Policarpio, AJ Dorion, Master Noly Caluag, Charisse Palaganas, Ryan Gaza, Alyxa Oftana, and Clarisse Palaganas. Last row: Marc Solitana, Jaden Estrellado and Ed Lopez.

More than a dozen of the island's top taekwondo athletes returned to in-person competition July 31 in the 2021 Master Noly’s Taekwondo Poomsae Tournament at the Dededo Farmers Co-op.

The in-house competition, organized by Master Noly Caluag, drew 58 competitors from Guam Taekwondo Center from white to black belts ages 5 to 18.

Alyxa Oftana, one of the more decorated athletes despite her young age, impressed the audience, pulling a gold medal in the senior's division. The 18-year-old executed perfect high side and front kicks during the koryo, a taekwondo black belt form. Kevin Fernandezk, 15, and Lyra Mugol, 12, earned gold medals in the junior and all-black belt cadet divisions, respectively.

The Cabanting siblings – Cayden and Calvin – added gold medals to their family haul. Cayden at 5 was the youngest competitor in the tournament. Another pair of siblings, Haley and Summer Pinaula, earned gold in their divisions as well.

Complete list of winners

Gold: Cayden Cabanting, Zander Nucum, Calvin Cabanting, Audrick Bacani, Haley Pinaula, Lyra Mugol, Hailey Diaz, Summer Pinaula, Chloe Jaleco, Chonky Schwartz, Miah Pangelinan, Kevin Fernandez and Alyxa Oftana.

Silver: Fareen DeLeon, Troy Nucum, Jacob Pineda, Jennielynn Littlejohn, Tyler Wang, Adriana Sabinay, Maru Magbitang, Ethan Sabinay, Ysabella Velayo, Shaina Florendo, Chris Mantanona, Trisha Rogers and Jaden Estrellado.

Bronze: Tiffany Wang, Savi Cruz, Jaeven David, Adrian Nebres, Zhaila Nucum, Vicente Ventura, James Bernales, Gavin Twaddle, AJ Dorion, Karsten Policarpio, Sophie Valencia, Gogol Chattaraj, Sydney Mantanona, Samantha Valencia, Derrick Yan, Colin Twaddle, Lance Acejo, Xavier Yu, Karlen Policarpio, Jony Flores, Marcus Magbitang, Emmanuel Velayo, Marc Solitana and Elijah Velayo.