Barbosa falls to top-seeded Korean in Olympic taekwondo

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Barbosa falls to top-seeded Korean in Olympic taekwondo
South Korea's Jang Jun (Blue) and Philippines' Kurt Bryan Barbosa (Red) compete in the taekwondo men's -58kg elimination round bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on July 24, 2021.
Javier Soriano / AFP
In a latest development,  Kurt Barbosa ended his Tokyo Olympics journey as he did not get a favorable result from a match on which his medal hopes depended. Read that story here.


MANILA, Philippines – Kurt Barbosa had a tough start to his 2020 Tokyo Olympics journey, losing to World No. 1 Jang Jun of South Korea in the first round of the Taekwondo Men's -58kg event at the Makuhari Messe on Saturday.

The 22-year old, the UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, stood his ground against the much taller and skilled Korean, 6-26.

TRACKER: Kurt Barbosa at the Tokyo Olympics

Jang Jun, for his part is the favorite to win the event. He is a two-time world champion and a five-time Grand Prix champion, boasting a 92.4% (61-of-66) win rate in his career.

Barbosa, whose career highlights include gold medals in the 2019 Asian Open and 2019 Southeast Asian Games, was the 16th seed leading into the draws.

He was the first Filipino male taekwondo jin to qualify for the Olympics since Tshomlee Go in 2008. He qualified during the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Jordan last May where he bested favorite Zaid Al-Halawani in a come-from-behind win, 50-49, in the -58kg semifinal tussle.

Barbosa will have a chance to continue his Olympic quest in the repechange scheduled later.

The athlete out of NU can vie for the bronze medal if Jang continues to win and reach the gold medal bout.

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