Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder
MANILA, Philippines–Junna Tsukii was supposed to bask in the glory of her golden performance in Southeast Asian Games -50kg Kumite Saturday.
Instead, she had to go through a painful emotional experience, one that she shared on social media.
“I’m really happy to win a gold medal … but now I’m very sad,” she wrote on a Facebook status posted around 10 p.m. Saturday night, just hours after winning her gold medal.
Tsukii, 28, who is hoping to join the Philippine delegation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, accused her coach of bullying and of not recognizing her feat.
Thank you so much for supporting and cheering me today🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭❤️I'm really happy to win a gold medal at the second Sea…
She didn’t name the coach although the karate squad lists its head coach as Okay Arpa, a Turkish national who took over the team last June.
“He [told] me that ‘Because you are not part of the team, that’s why your medal is not for this team or not for this country. And for me you are dead, that’s why I can’t see you— because you are dead,” Tsukii wrote in her post.
The Inquirer has sought the karateka herself, but she has yet to reply. Karatedo officials have also not yet commented on the issue.
Tsukii said Arpa’s cold shoulder has long been bothering her, but she continued to put up with it for the sake of the team.
“I didn’t want to confuse my team, that’s why I put up with being ignored,” she said.
Still, Tsukii reaffirmed her commitment to the national cause and assured that she will still continue to support the team on Sunday when more Pinoy karatekas take the tatami at World Trade Center in Pasay.
“I [pray] for the victory of all Philippine athletes.”
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