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Tsukii confident of more chances to book Tokyo berth

/ 05:10 AM May 22, 2020

Junna Tsukii is confident she will get more chances to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics once the coronavirus pandemic blows over.

“There [will be] more opportunities than before,” the country’s gold medalist in karate in last year’s Southeast Asian Games, who isn’t losing sleep over the cancellation of qualifying tournaments, told the Inquirer via messaging on Thursday.

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The World Karate Federation announced on Wednesday that it is revising the qualification system and is looking to “include missed opportunities” and “reschedule the qualification tournament for 2021.”

Before the health crisis struck, Tsukii was scheduled to compete in a pair of Karate 1-Premier events before plunging into action in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Paris that was supposed to be held this month. The events offered precious Olympic-qualifying points.

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The Filipino-Japanese’s optimism during these testy times—and her iron will during the pandemic—was forged during the challenges she faced in the past.

“My mood remains the same—before and after being affected by the pandemic. I focus on my goal,” she said.

“I have had six knee surgeries in the past. I have lived using the wheelchair for several months and I have been in rehabilitation for six months to more than a year,” Tsukii added.

“The experiences [have] made me move positively.”

The idle time, if anything, has allowed the Asian Games bronze medalist and SEA Games gold winner to thoroughly assess the weak facets of her game, enabling her to improve her technique.

Tsukii is hunkered with her family in Saitama prefecture in Tokyo.

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TAGS: Junna Tsukii, Tokyo Olympics
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