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Kurt Barbosa faltered against the top-seeded Jang Jun of South Korea, 26-6, on Saturday, July 24 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ taekwondo men’s -58kg event at the Makuhari Messe Hall.
Despite the loss, Barbosa still has a chance for a podium finish as he will be placed in the repechage bout if Jang clinches a finals berth later Saturday.
The taller South Korean flashed his dominance over the Filipino from the get-go, going 10-0 in the opening round.
The 2018 UAAP rookie-MVP, though, managed to score a point before heading into the second round.
Jang could’ve sealed the win in two rounds, but the event No. 1 seed picked up a gamjeong in the last 10 seconds, which pushed the fight into a deciding round.
But Barbosa failed to capitalize on Jang’s blip as the taekwondo Grand Prix multi-titlist made a kick to the trunk to seal the win by point gap.
The 22-year-old from Bangued, Abra clinched a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth in stunning fashion as he beat the Asian qualifiers’ No. 2 seed, rallying from a 15-point deficit.
Barbosa is riding on the momentum of his 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medal win before the COVID-19 pandemic put the world of sports into a standstill. – Rappler.com