More than 7,000 miles from home, four young women of the Philippine gymnastics team are training hard in the U.S. as they prepare for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11.
24-year-old Tina Inofre, 18-year-old Yanna Hermoso, 17-year-old Chloe Gatlabayan, and 16-year-old Mya Avila Wilson have been in California and Texas for about a month, and are now exposing themselves to some of the highest caliber gymnastics training available.
According to coach Tammy de Guzman, a former SEA Games gold medalist herself in the 1990’s, this coming games will be quite challenging given the younger makeup of her team.
As team captain of the Philippine Women’s Gymnastics Team, Tina Onofre said their exposure in the U.S. has helped them a lot.
“Maganda kasi dito kami nag te train sa US, yung opportunities na binibigay ng mga coaches dito, talagang supportive sila.”
“It’s nice to train here in the U.S., the opportunities given by the coaches here — they’re really supportive.”
With the recent gold medal win of Carlos Yulo, the team gushed with pride but also admitted the added pressure is there.
“It’s inspiring and we’re very proud of him and we’re in awe,” says De Guzman. “It puts pressure because it’s ours; we are the host country and we want to do well.”