Pauline Lopez goes for second PH Taekwondo Olympic slot Sunday
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has the chance to send another taekwondo jin to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics when Pauline Lopez takes the mat tomorrow, Sunday, April 17 in the final day of the Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualifiers at the Marriot Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.
Lopez, is the sole remaining home grown bet still in competition. Fellow female jin Elaine Alora booked the first ticket to Rio after her stirring, 10-3, semifinals win over Iran’s Akram Khodabandeh on Saturday. Pinoy jins Butch Morrison and Kristoffer Uy lost in the quarterfinals and Round of 32 respectively.
The 19-year old Lopez, who was born is Los Angeles, California will be facing Malaysian Nurul Farah Alisa Roslan in her preliminary match. Should Lopez proceed to the next round, she will either go up against Thailand’s Phannapa Harnsujin or Cambodia’s Chhoeung Puthearim. A second win will send her to the finals.
“Pauline prepared very well for this competition,” said Philippine National Team Training Director Igor Mella. "She’s very focused and consistent. If the spectators provide the energy that they gave our athletes last Saturday, then that will be a big boost.”
“I am looking forward to watching Pauwee (Pauline’s nickname) fight,” said Alora of her national teammate. “She’s very good. Very smart. It will be fun to watch her compete."
“I am looking forward to this opportunity,” said the 5-foot-6 Lopez. “This is a long time coming as the dream to get to this stage started 9 years ago when I first took up taekwondo. People say that youth means a lack of experience. I’ve been fighting since I was 10 years old so I think I have enough experience. If we can do this now then why not?" – Rappler.com