Mikee Cojuangco, a
former actress and mother of two, clinched a gold medal in the equestrian
individual show jumping event at the 14th Asian Games held in Busan, South Korea
in October 2002. Mikee was 28 then. Before this, Mikee won a silver medal in the
team show jumping category alongside teammates Danielle Schulze Cojuangco, Toni
Leviste, and Maria Michelle Berrera. Mikee is a daughter of former Tarlac
Governor Margarita Cojuangco and former Congressman Jose Cojuangco, a younger
brother of former President Corazon Aquino. Her husband is Dodot Jaworski, the
son of basketball legend and Senator Robert Jaworski.
Other equestrians who have gained international recognition include Fidelino Barba and Jose Montila.
The Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworksi has won the Asian Games Individual Showjumping gold medal. Mikee beat Korea's Jane Lee Jin-Kyung in a two-way jump-off to take the biggest title of her riding career.
Both Mikee and Jane had jumped clear in the 1st round and while clear in the 2nd round, both had 2 time faults over Werner Deeg's tight track. In the jump-off Mikee and Rustic Rouge were clear, while Jane Lee had a rail down with Uncle Harry.
Two Japanese, Osamu Komiyama riding Everett and Tadayoshi Hayashi riding Caracas jumped off for the bronze. Tadayoshi took it with a clear in the jump-off, while Osamu had a rail down.
Malaysia's Quzier Ambak had a rail and 2 time faults to finish the individual final with 10 total faults, the same score as Philippines Danielle Cojuangco. Toni Leviste did not start the 2nd round after a 13 fault first round.
Mikee had agonized over which horse to take to the Asian Games, her new ride, the Australian Thoroughbred Rustic Rouge, or old faithful Luisita. It looks like Mikee has made the right decision. Congratulations to Mikee.
This is the first-ever gold medal that a South East Asian has won in an Asian Games showjumping event. Vicki Roycroft, who coached Mikee and Michelle Barrera at these games told Equestrian.Com.My, "Mikee nearly won it outright. We figured out a way to save some time because time was very tight. But Mikee lost her stirrup just before and couldn't make the turn.
Vicki went on to say "It's a good result for South East Asia at these games - 3 medals. And a good result for Australia - Australian Thoroughbreds 1st and 2nd in the individual final. The track was a solid 1.40, with one fence of 1.50 in the jump-off."
South East Asian countries have had a good Asian Games, with 2 golds, a silver and a bronze. There were two individual gold medals. In addition to Mikee's, Thailand's Pongsiree Bunluewong also won an individual gold medal in eventing. The Philippines took a silver in the team jumping, with Malaysia right behind them in bronze medal placing.
Today's medal results: Gold Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski (PHI) Rustic Rouge
Silver Lee Jin-Kyung (KOR) Uncle Harry
Bronze Tadayoshi Hayashi (JPN) Caracas