Barbosa faces tournament favorite in opening taekwondo match | Inquirer Sports
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Barbosa faces tournament favorite in opening taekwondo match

By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 09:15 PM July 22, 2021
Philippine Taekwondo team led by jin Kurt Barbosa at the Tokyo Olympic

Philippine Taekwondo team led by jin Kurt Barbosa at the Tokyo Olympics. 📷 carlospadillav via PTA Facebook

TOKYO—Kurt Barbosa needed a huge rally to book an Olympic slot in a qualifying tournament earlier this year.

He will need the same fighting spirit right in his very first bout in Tokyo.

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Barbosa, ranked 16th, faces top seed Jang Jun of Korea in the men’s taekwondo -58kg division at Makuhari Messe Hall A on Saturday.

PROFILE: Taekwondo's Kurt Barbosa

PROFILE: Taekwondo’s Kurt Barbosa

Jang ruled the division in the world championships in 2019 and is heavily touted to run away in the gold here.

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But Barbosa has proven to rise when the odds are against him.

Trailing by double digits in the last round during the qualifiers in Jordan, Barbosa launched a furious last-ditch rally and escaped with a dramatic 50-49 victory over hometown bet Zaid Al-Halawani.

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TAGS: PH Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics
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