SEA Games 2023

Morrison to retire, Alora plans to do same after SEA Games gold coup

Delfin Dioquino

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Morrison to retire, Alora plans to do same after SEA Games gold coup

STILL GOT IT. Samuel Morrison and Kirstie Alora win a pair of gold medals for the Philippines in the 2023 SEA Games.

Delfin Dioquino/Rappler

Taekwondo veterans Samuel Morrison and Kirstie Alora each win their fourth gold medals in the SEA Games

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Two of the Philippines’ most decorated taekwondo jins will soon hang it up.

Samuel Morrison revealed he is retiring from competitive taekwondo this year, while Kirstie Alora is planning to do the same after they each won their fourth gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games here on Saturday, May 13.

Redeeming himself from his bronze finish in Vietnam last year, Morrison said he fought in the SEA Games for the final time as he is set to devote his time to being a husband and a father to his one-year-old baby.

“This is my last SEA Games. I’ll retire this year, probably until the Asian Games. I already have a family,” Morrison said in Filipino.

Morrison, 33, said he has been mulling about his retirement since three years ago but decided against it due to his passion for taekwondo.

“I could not leave it because of my love for the sport,” he said.

Alora, meanwhile, arrested a decade-long SEA Games gold dry spell in what could be the fitting ending to her 18-year run with the national team.

“It feels great because this is maybe my last year. It depends to our association,” said the 33-year-old Alora, who clinched her first SEA Games gold in 2005.

“But for me, this is my last year.”

The two, though, will remain around the sport.

Morrison intends to build a taekwondo gym in Bataan, while Alora coaches the taekwondo teams of La Salle and her alma mater St. Benilde.

“I want to train players who will someday be Olympians,” said Morrison. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.