Asian Games: Olympian Kurt Barbosa suffers early exit

kurt barbosa jang jun tokyo olympics

FILE–Philippines’ Kurt Bryan Barbosa (Red) competes in the taekwondo men’s -58kg elimination round bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP)

HANGZHOU, China—Kurt Barbosa fought with a sense of urgency throughout, but he just couldn’t solve the mystery of Uzbekistan’s Omonjon Otajonov to drop his opening bout in the 19th Asian Games.

Otajonov escaped with a 2-0 win in taekwondo men’s -58kg round of 32 at the Lin’an Sports Culture and Exhibition Centre on Monday, surviving a fiery exchange with the Filipino Olympian in two rounds.

Barbosa surged ahead early in the first round with a head kick, wresting control right away with a 4-0 lead before the Uzbek stormed back with a head strike of his own followed by two successive punches to the body to seize a 5-4 advantage.

The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist leveled the count one last time in the second round at 12-all with a crunching kick to the body, but Otajonov sneaked in a timely hit just as time was about to expire.

Veronica Garces likewise fell by the wayside after Iran’s Mobina Nematzadeh asserted herself in their women’s -49kg round of 16 encounter with a 2-0 victory.

Garces advanced earlier after defeating Tajikistan’s Shirinmohi Mirshakarzoda, 2-0, in the round of 32.

The Filipino jins provided the first medal for Team Philippines through the bronze-medal effort of Patrick King Perez in the men’s individual poomsae on Sunday.

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