Taekwondo

PH pinning Olympic hopes on 3 remaining jins in Asian qualifiers

Delfin Dioquino
PH pinning Olympic hopes on 3 remaining jins in Asian qualifiers

TOUGH ROAD. Pauline Lopez has to go through an arduous route in the Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Kirstie Alora, Pauline Lopez, and Kurt Barbosa aim for Tokyo Games berths in the Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament

The Philippines still has three bets vying for spots in the Tokyo Games through the Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan even after Arven Alcantara lost in his weight class.

Alcantara crashed out of the quarterfinals in the men’s -68 kg division after a 23-9 beating from Ulugbek Rashitov of Uzbekistan on Friday, May 21.

Rashitov eventually punched his ticket to Tokyo, with the top two jins from each class advancing to the Olympics.

Alcantara’s exit left the Philippines with Kirstie Alora, Pauline Lopez, and Kurt Barbosa as the remaining Filipino bets in the qualifiers as they all see action on Saturday, May 22.

Already in the semifinals of the women’s +67 kg class, Alora only needs to beat Svetlana Osipova of Uzbekistan to secure her place for a second straight Olympic appearance.

The 31-year-old Alora competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she reached the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Lopez has to go through a more arduous route as she begins her campaign for an Olympic berth in the round of 16 of the women’s -57 kg division against Aya Aljrayhe of Syria.

Barbosa must also chalk up back-to-back wins in the men’s -58 kg class to qualify for Tokyo, beginning in his quarterfinal clash against Molom Tumenbayar of Mongolia. – Rappler.com

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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.