BREANNA LABADAN capped her campaign on a downbeat note, winding up eighth and last in the ball event finals with a score of 28.75 points at the close of the 14th Senior Rhytmic Gymnastics Asian Championships Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Eyeing a high finish with a superior routine she made several times in practice, Labadan was virtually picture-perfect until she committed a costly error at the end of her stint in the competition organized by the Gymnastics Association of the Philippine
With her face down on the mat, the Pinay sprite was unable to catch the falling ball with her legs, hitting one of her thighs and trickling away, much to the dismay of the hometown crowd who came to see her play.
Despite the mistake, the pride of Butuan city, Agusan del Norte, with Hungarian coach Dora Vass by her side, stood up on the side and bravely waved back to the appreciative crowd in the event backed by Philippine Sports Commission.
Uzbek sensation Takhmina Ikromova, who had led her country to retaining the team gold and successfully defended her all-around crown, added two more mints in the meet backed by Taisan, Pastorelli and Qatar Insurance Corp.
Ikromova bagged the ball event gold with a top score of 34.55 points while compatriots Evelina Atalyants (34.05) and Elzhana Taniyeva (32.70) took the silver and bronze, respectively.
In a closely-fought contest, she also took the hoop gold (34.35) at the expense of Kazakhstan’s Taniyeva Alzhana (32.50) while China’s Wang Zilu (32.5) settled for the bronze in the tournament also backed by Sofitel, Hotel 101 and Milo.
Later, the hometown athlete received a huge hug from his father, Capt. Arnold Labadan, the head of the tournament’s organizing committee, for comfort.
“We practiced this routine in practice and was able to do it, sadly we missed it today,” said Labadan,” and this is going to be a learning experience to be better next time.”
But she won’t be go empty-handed from the meet also supported by the Harbor Pilots Association of the Phils., Pocari Sweat and Summit Water. after qualifying for the world championships in Valencia, Spain in August after finishing ninth overall in the individual all-around last Friday.
Vass said that she was aware that Labadan was taking huge risk in performing with a new routine in an actual competition.
“But if we don’t take a risk we then how can she(Labadan) improve? You all saw how Breanna did well until that mistake in the end. We didn’t have luck on our side this time,” Vass explained. “Next time, she will be able to do it for sure.”
After a much-needed vacation with her family, Labadan will return on July 20 to Budapest, Hungary to resume training for the world meet scheduled Aug. 23 to 27 in Valencia, Spain, according to the Hungarian coach.