June 14, 2024

Cordilleran taekwondo pride Kurt Bryan Barbosa of Abra has been relentless in his training with a few more days before he sees action in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The 22-year-old Barbosa will be among the 19 Filipino athletes who will carry the country’s flag in the Olympics set from July 23 to Aug. 8.
The Philippine Taekwondo Association reported last week that Barbosa has been polishing his techniques with national coach Carlos Padilla, who is optimistic his ward will bring good fights in the Olympics.
Padilla said their special training focuses more on endurance, strength, and conditioning. The coach is also closely working on Barbosa’s strength and weaknesses based on the athlete’s past fights.
“We both agreed that stamina is important so we need to maintain it because Kurt already has all the techniques. All he needs is to polish it and have that good stamina to execute all of them,” Padilla said.
Asked on Barbosa’s chances of winning a medal in the Olympics, Padilla said:
“Nothing is impossible as he prepared so well for this tournament. I’m sure he will do his best to get the gold medal.”
Barbosa clinched an Olympic berth following his emphatic victory in the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympics Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan months ago.
Barbosa stunned hometown bet Zaid Al-Halawani, 50-49, in the dying seconds of their semifinal’s bout in the men’s 58-kilogram.
The 21-year-old Barbosa, a gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is the lone Cordilleran member of the Philippine Taekwondo squad to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
An elite varsity player of National University, Barbosa has been competing in national and international Taekwondo kyorugi tournaments, winning medals for the region and the country and making him one of elite members of the Philippine team. – Harley F. Palangchao