Alora bows out of Rio after heartbreaking loss
RIO DE JANEIRO–Given a second chance at redemption, taekwondo fighter Kirstie Elaine Alora fought Morocco’s Wiam Dislam to the very last second but fell short to bow out of the Rio Olympics at Carioca Arena 3 here.
Fighting in the repechage for a chance to salvage the bronze medal, Alora yielded to the much taller Dislam, 7-5, but not before the fight judges denied a Philippine appeal for a head kick connection in the dying seconds of the fight.
The 26-year-old Alora trailed Dislam early, 0-3, rallied to even the count at 3-3, and took the lead at 5-4, before Dislam scored three more points in two decisive exchanges late in the third round.
Earlier in the morning’s round-of-16 matches, Alora bowed to Mexico’s former world and Olympic champion Maria Espinoza, 4-1.
Because Espinoza went all the way to the finals, Alora got into the repechage with the of the fighters who lost to Mexico’s sports poster girl.
“I fought there better than in the morning but I was just unlucky,”‘ said Alora, tears running down her cheeks. “I know I have it in me that I could fight well, hindi lang talaga pinalad ngayon.”
Alora, the pride pf Binan, Laguna, stood a head shorter than Dislam but that did not intimidate her throughout the fight.
She could have progressed to the bronze-medal fight against Bianca Walkden of Great Britain but the judges ruled that Alora’s kick to Dislam’s head glanced the left side of the helmet rather than hit her face, which would have given Alora a maximum of three points–enough to give her the victory,
“Kung sa mukha sana tumama ang kick ni Elaine three points yun,” said Elora’s coach Roberto Cruz. “It could have given Elaine three points as well if the electonic scoring system yielded a score.”/rga
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