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Junna Tsukii suffers shock exit in Karate Worlds


World no. 2 Junna Tsukii absorbed a sorry loss, leaving the WKF Senior World Championships 2021’s female minus-50 kg class empty-handed at the end of the eliminations, Wednesday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Tsukii came in as a solid favorite following her two wins in the Premier 1 series. But the Filipina-Japanese lost in the second round against Uzbekistan’s Bakhriniso Babaeva, 2-3, to bid her medal hopes goodbye.

This, after the Uzbek suffered a close upset against Algeria’s Cylia Ouikene in the immediate following round.

Tsukki, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist, earlier took the win over North Macedonia’s Sara Radicevska on judges’ decision after a scoreless affair in contest time.

The 30-year-old Filipino-Japanese’s part of the draw includes Babaeva; Olympic bronze medalist Bettina Plank of Austria; and Karate Premier 1 silver medalist in Germany’s Shara Hubrich.

The result left Jamie Lim to try and take a medal for the Philippines in kumite. The 24-year-old enters the repechage round of the female minus-61 kg class on Thursday. Kata karatekas Joco Vasquez and Sarah Pangilinan will also be competing in the eliminations set on the same day.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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