Kirstie Elaine Alora will not carry the flag for the country this time.
Alora could not make back-to-back appearances in the Games after absorbing a harsh 5-27 loss against Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova in the women’s plus-78 kg class qualifying match of the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament, Saturday at the Kempinski Hotel in Amman, Jordan.
It was the Filipina who started the scoring with a punch at the onset of the match, but what happened next was a flurry of kicks from the 2019 Military World Games gold medalist as the latter took a 16-1 lead.
Another point went to Alora’s way at the start of the following round to cut the deficit to 14, 2-16. Nonetheless, Osipova’s momentum continued with the 31-year-old settling to keep it close and avoid a point gap defeat.
The match was all but decided when the advantage ballooned to 22, 26-4 with another Osipova head kick. Three consecutive punches from Alora were too late as the final buzzer sounded.
Alora, however, did not go out without a fight as she bagged the bronze medal in this tournament after a 9-7 win over Tajikistan’s Mokhru Khalimova in the third-place playoff.
Back in 2016, Alora qualified for the Rio Games after finishing in second place in the plus-67 kg division of the OQT.
Alora, who was Team Pilipinas’ flag-bearer in the closing ceremony, lost to Mexico’s Maria Espinoza in the Round of 16 and to Morocco’s Wiam Dislam in the repechage.