By JEREMIAH SEVILLA
Despite being the first Filipino athlete to bow out of the Tokyo Olympics, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa refused to dwell on his defeat and instead look at the brighter side of his short-lived Olympic debut.
Barbosa vowed to learn from his experience in Japan and continue his quest for Olympic glory in the years to come.
“This may not be our time but I promise that I won’t stop fighting and trying because I believe that losing is part of the game and it is where we learn and get the courage to fight again. We are just getting started,” said Barbosa through his social media accounts after crashing out of medal contention in the men’s 58 kg event held at the Makuhari Messe Hall on Saturday, July 24.
“I will surely apply all of my experiences to my next games and I hope you are all still with me until we get that victory,” he added.
“We don’t lose hope, if we believe that we can achieve something, then we will and my next goal is to work hard for my next fight, gain more experience because we still have much to learn. The show must go on, our time will come.”
The 2019 SEA Games gold medalist suffered a crushing 26-6 loss to reigning world champion and top seed Jang Jun of South Korea right in the first round.
The 22-year-old pride of Bangued, Abra still had a shot at the bronze medal through the repechage, a stepladder tournament for the losers against the eventual finalists.
However, Jang, who was expected to cop the gold medal, got stunned by Mohammed Khalil Jendoubi of Tunisia, 25-19, in the semifinals and that eventually dashed the medal hopes of the Olympics first-timer Barbosa.
The UAAP taekwondo MVP out of National University expressed his gratitude to his family, sponsors, friends and all the Filipino people who have thrown their support for him.
“I appreciate the non-stop support that you’re giving me. You guys are the reason why I always keep moving.”
“At sa mahal kong Pilipinas, ikinararangal kong dalhin ang pangalan mo sa isang malaking patimpalak, hanggang sa muli. HINDI AKO SUSUKO. Salamat mga kababayan, babawi tayo, tiwala lang.”