MANILA, Philippines – Even though it looks like the odds are against her, national karateka Junna Tsukii remains steadfast in pursuit of her maiden Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth.
The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to sports events across the world, including the Karate-1 Premier League competitions that serve as Olympic ranking tournaments for the sport.
“I have been training very hard to get into the Olympics,” said world No. 10 Tsukii. “I know that when this happens, I will be competing for the Philippines. I believe that I can overcome any challenge that stands in my way.”
Tsukii had to deal with the cancelation of Premier League competitions in Morocco and Madrid, which would have served as her last ranking tournament before the direct qualification deadline in April.
The 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist needs to rank No. 1 in Asia for a continental slot, but she currently holds the No. 4 spot in the women’s 50kg kumite event.
But the Filipino-Japanese karateka will still have a shot at securing a ticket to the global showpiece in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification tournament in Paris, France on May 8 to 10.
“I want to be victorious at the Tokyo Olympics,” added Tsukii, who is an ambassador for sports nutrition brand aminoVITAL®.
Tsukii continues her training in Japan as she waits for the announcement on the fate of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
On Saturday, March 21, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines has risen to 307 with 19 deaths and 13 recoveries.
Globally, the disease infected more than 217,500 people and claimed over 9,000 lives. – Rappler.com
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