Junna Tsukii wins 1st Karate Premier League gold

Beatrice Go

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Junna Tsukii wins 1st Karate Premier League gold

BREAKTHROUGH. Junna Tsukii scores huge victories over the world's top karatekas in the Lisbon Premier League.

Photo from Junna Tsukii's Facebook

Junna Tsukii earns a big boost to her quest for a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth

Junna Tsukii showed she deserves to be in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Tsukii earned her first Karate Premier League gold medal after defeating Kazakhstan’s Moldir Zhangbyrbay, 2-0, on Sunday, May 2 in the female -50kg kumite event in Lisbon, Portugal.

“Look at my first gold medal on the world calibre stage,” wrote Tsukii. “I would like to thank everyone who have supported me to this point. This medal is for YOU.”

This will be a big boost to the Filipino-Japanese’s quest for a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth, where she has to emerge as No. 1 in the Asian rankings.

Tsukii currently ranks No. 3 in Asia and No. 9 in the world with 3742.50 points.

She will have to overtake Iranian Sara Bahmanyar (5677.50) and world No. 7 Ranran Li of China (4950) in the standings as host country Japan is already guaranteed an automatic spot.

In the event, Tsukii faced world No. 3 Bahmanyar in the 3rd round and won 2-1.

Aside from qualifying by virtue of her Asian ranking, Tsukii still has a chance to make the quadrennial meet in the world Olympic qualifying tournament in Paris, France, in June. – Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.