Barbosa, Tokyo Games veteran, banners PH team to world tourney

Barbosa, Tokyo Games veteran, banners PH team to world tourney

Tokyo Olympics veteran Kurt Bryan Barbosa banners the 8-man SMART/MVP Sports Foundation Philippine Taekwondo Team that will vie in the 2022 World Taekwondo Championships slated Nov. 13-20 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The UAAP Season 81 Most Valuable Player from National University, Barbosa is hoping to make amends after his failed bid the last time.

Having prepared long and hard for the event, Barbosa is convinced he will figure prominently this time around.

 “Naghanda po kami ng todo para dito. Halos dalawang buwan din po kaming nag-training sa Korea para mabawi yung dalawang taong pahinga dahil sa pandemic. Babawi po ako dito,” said the 22-year-old who failed on his mission in 2019 edition when he lost in his Round of 64 match in the men’s finweight class.

Joining him in this prestigious competition that lured more than 100 countries are are fellow 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Dave Cea (-74kg), Laila Delo (-67kg), Baby Jessica Canabal (-53kg), Joseph Chua (63kg), and Alfritz Arevalo (-68kg).

Coaches of the team are Raul Romero and Carlos Jose Padilla with Raul Samson as team manager and former Senator Anna Dominique ‘Nikki’ Coseteng as head of delegation.

They will be up against formidable foes from the Korea, China, Spain, Iran, Turkey, Chinese Taipei and USA.

“This tournament is important for our athletes as they are aiming to earn more points to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Naka-programa na sa amin yung mga tournaments na makatutulong sa atin pagdating sa point system, as much as possible we have to join this competition next year,” said Samson.

The PH team, also supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), is also penciled to compete in next year’s Asian Games in China, SEA Games in Cambodia, Indoor Martial Arts Games, Asian Championships and the next edition of the World Taekwondo Championships.

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