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Tokyo hopeful Junna Tsukii shoots for gold in Portugal


Junna Tsukii 2019 SEA Games

The Philippines’ Junna Tsukii celebrates her gold medal finish in the women’s Karatedo-50 kg of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo Olympics hopeful Junna Tsukii will shoot for the gold medal when she competes in the Female Kumite -50kg final of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Premier League in Lisbon, Portugal.

Tsukii advanced to the title round after scoring a major upset over two-time world champion Alexandra Recchia of France, 2-0, in the semifinals.

“I have been waiting for this moment for over a year,” the Fil-Japanese karateka said in a story on the WKF website.

Atm Junna Tsukii won 4 fights in the WKF Premier League in Lisbon beating 1. Colombia 10-22. Iran 2-13. Egypt 1-1…

Posted by Karate Pilipinas Sports Federation Inc. on Friday, April 30, 2021

“My matches here were very difficult. You can tell that the top karatekas in the world are here.”

The 29-year-old Tsukii faces Moldir Zhangbyrbay of Kazakhstan in the finals on Sunday.

The 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist is hoping to add another gold to her collection after ruling the Golden Belt Karate event in Serbia last March.

She is also looking to bounce back after an early exit in the first WKF international meet of the year held in Istanbul in March where she lost in the first round.

Tsukii, who has been training in Serbia for the past two months, hopes to secure a slot in Tokyo via the world qualifier in Paris, France in June.

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