COVID-19 strikes off two major taekwondo tournaments
Taekwondo, one of the sports that the country is pinning its hopes on in the Olympics, also took a hit from the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Philippine Taekwondo Association regional affairs chief Stephen Fernandez said two major tournaments, including the Olympic qualifier for Asia, were scrapped indefinitely as a result of the virus.
“For the meantime, we continue to train here at home,” Fernandez said.
The country is hoping to qualify as many as four jins to the Tokyo Olympics. It is pinning its hopes on four Southeast Asian Games gold medalists.
Kurt Bryan Barbosa (finweight), Dave Cea (lightweight), Samuel Morrison (welterweight), and Pauline Lopez (featherweight) are among the Olympic aspirants.
The Olympic qualifying for Asia was originally set for April 10 and 11 in Wuxi, China. The meet was shelved due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which first struck Wuhan, China.
Iran and Jordan are currently bidding to stage the Olympic qualifiers.
The Asian Taekwondo Championships slated early March in Beirut, Lebanon, was also postponed until further notice.
The Philippines fielded Kirstie Alora during the taekwondo event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.