TEENER Breanna Labadan sealed her return trip to the world championships yesterday with a solid performance that was good for ninth place in the individual all-around finals of the 14th Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Labadan, 16, recovered from a shaky hoops outing to finish strong in tallying 110.40 points in the meet organized by the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
The 5-foot-2 Pinay pixie scored 26.10 in the hoops, netted a high 29.40 in the ball plus scores 28.30 and and 26.45 in the clubs and ribbon, respectively, finishing four rungs higher than her previous finish in the 2022 edition of the meet held in Pattaya,Thailand.
Uzbek’s Takhmina Ikromova retained the individual all-around crown with a top score of 132.20 points while Kazakh’s Eizhana Taniyeva (128.350) and Chinese Wang Zilu (121.80) took the silver and bronze, respectively, in the meet sanctioned by the Asian Gymnastics Union and backed by Taishan
“Although I could have done better, I am nevertheless happy with the outcome of my performance so I can return to the worlds,” said Labadan with relief after playing in front of an enthusiastic hometown crowd.
“This is her (Labadan’s) best result in the Asian championships and the best result for your country so I am very happy about her performance because last year she was 13th,” said Hungarian coach Dora Vass of her precocious protege.
“Breanna beat two South Koreans, a Taiwanese and a Malaysian which shows you how great her performance was,” stressed Vas of Labadan’s accomplishment in the event also backed by Sofitel and Hotel 101.
She added that as early as Thursday, her prized ward had already clinched a spot to the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships scheduled Aug. 23 to 27 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
“My athlete was within the cut in three events – ball, clubs and ribbon – during the qualifiers that earned her another trip to the worlds,” the former Hungarian national athlete said.
“We would like to congratulate Breanna for her top 10 finish in the individual all-around finals, and hopefully she will be able to do better in the ball finals tomorrow,: said GAP president Cynthia Carrion.
Labadan said that her outing yesterday would spur her to try for a podium finish in the ball finals scheduled at 10 a.m. today in the competition also backed by Pocari Sweat, Milo and Summit water.
“I also had my best outing in the ball today so hopefully we can perform better tomorrow and finally win a medal for our country,” she said.