Kurt Barbosa is one step closer to punching his ticket to the Olympic Games.
Barbosa took care of Mongolia’s Molom Tumenbayar, 40-33, to move into the semifinals in the men’s minus-58 kg of the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament at Kempinski Hotel in Amman, Jordan, Saturday.
He initially conceded points off a penalty and a head kick to trail, 0-4. The 21-year-old then took the lead at 8-7 after a string kick to the Mongolian’s armor.
That lead ballooned to its highest at 12 as back-to-back sidekicks from Barbosa connected for a 30-18 advantage near the end of the second round.
Molom tried to close in in the dying minutes of the third round. Another hit from the Filipino, though, pushed it back to a 12-point advantage at 40-28. Even five more points from Mongolia was not enough to overhaul the count.
Back in 2019, Barbosa won gold in both the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Open.
Barbosa will face hometown bet Zaid Al-Hawani for a ticket to the Tokyo Games in July later this year.