Junna Tsukii suffers early exit as PH ends Asian Games campaign | Inquirer Sports

Junna Tsukii suffers early exit as PH ends Asian Games campaign

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 02:38 PM October 08, 2023

Junna Tsukii Asian Games

The Philippines’ Junna Tsukii reacts as she losses in her preliminary round of Karate Kumite competition during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. –PSC-POC Media Pool

HANGZHOU, China—Junna Tsukii, the last Philippine athlete standing on the final day of competitions, lost her footing in an early exit in women’s karate in the 19th Asian Games.

Cambodia’s Srey Phea Chonn turned back Tsukii, 3-2, in their -50kg kumite round of 16 face-off on Sunday, depriving the Philippines the opportunity to close out the nation’s impressive campaign with a medal.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t win it. She was faster and yet I controlled the match. At one point, she grabbed me and I didn’t touch anything from her body, but the referee gave me a penalty and that was crucial,” said Tsukii.

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Tsukii, the 2022 World Games champion, in her division hastily assaulted Chonn on the tatami and quickly scored with a right straight to the body.

Armed with longer limbs, the 22-year-old Chonn retaliated and took the upperhand, 2-1, after connecting twice to the delight of the crowd at the Linping Sports Centre Gymnasium here.

Junna Tsukii Asian Games

The Philippines’ Junna Tsukii reacts as she losses in her preliminary round of Karate Kumite competition during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. –PSC-POC Media Pool

The Filipino-Japanese Tsukii patiently looked for an opening and found one, hitting Chonn again in a brief exchange of strikes to level the count.

But Chonn rushed to Tsukii, a two-time Karate 1 Premiere League champion, and sneaked a hit from a flurry of punches that she unloaded.

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With eight seconds left and her back against the wall, Tsukii had no other recourse but to attack, but time wasn’t on her side as Chonn backpedaled out of harm’s way.

“We gave everything, we did our best, so we must keep our heads up,” said the 32-year-old Tsukii.

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As the referee awarded the win to Chonn, Tsukii then collapsed on her knees and began crying inconsolably as her corner questioned the decision that fell on deaf ears.

“It’s painful but we have to move on,” added Tsukii, still teary-eyed an hour after the match.

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Team Philippines will bring home a total of four gold medals, two silvers and 12 bronze medals from these Games.

TAGS: Asian Games, Junna Tsukii

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