December 7, 2022

Cordillera Taekwondo Olympian Kurt Bryan Barbosa of Bangued, Abra remains optimistic he will come back strong after he failed to enter the medal games of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Olympics medal dream for the 22-year-old Barbosa ended when he was outpointed by world top-ranked Jang Jun of South Korea in the men’s -58 kilograms in round 16.
Despite losing to the Korean jin, Barbosa had a chance to enter the repechage had Jang entered the finals.
But Jang lost to Khalil Jendoubi of Tunishia in the next round, depriving Barbosa the chance for a possible bronze medal fight.
Barbosa, the lone taekwondo representative to the Tokyo Olympics, was the first of the 19-man Filipino athletes who qualified for the Summer Games.
Before his flight back to the country from Tokyo, Barbosa shared how proud he was to represent the Philippines in the Olympics through the support of individuals and groups led by Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Olympic Committee, Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Philippine Taekwondo Association, and Hans Sy.
“Also, to my coaches, my teammates, friends, and to the people of Abra, thank you so much to all of you. I wouldn’t have reached this far if it weren’t for the support you are giving me,” Barbosa said in his social media account.
The Abrenian jin said the Tokyo Olympics may not be his luck, but he would not stop fighting and trying, as he believes losing is part of the game.
“We are just getting started. I will surely execute all of my experiences on my next games and I hope you are all still with me until we get that victory,” Barbosa added.
PSC Chair William Ramirez, meanwhile, said losing happens even to the best of them.
Ramirez’ statement came following negative comments from Filipinos after Barbosa and Fil-American swimmer Remedy Rule were eliminated while world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo faltered in six events, including his favorite floor exercise.
He said pressure from Filipinos and high public expectations that stemmed from the country’s gold medal drought in the Olympics proved simply too much for the Filipino Olympians to handle. – Harley F. Palangchao