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Lopez misses last-chance bus to 2016 Olympics

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Tiebreaker Times Lopez misses last-chance bus to 2016 Olympics News Taekwondo  Pauline Lopez 2016 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualifier

Reigning Southeast Asian Games champion Pauline Lopez has exited the 2016 Summer Olympics after bowing out in the semifinals against Thailand’s Phannapa Harnsujin, 2-5, Sunday at the Marriott Convention Center Grand Ballroom.

The 19-year-old Lopez bucked a slow start in her first match of the day to pull through with a win. After her opponent, Nurul Farah Alisa Roslan, received second warning penalty, Lopez followed this up with a solid counter to string up two points. Two more kicks to Roslan’s torso sealed Lopez’ progression into the semifinals, 2-4.

In the semifinals, however, Harnsujin connected near Lopez’ face with 23 seconds left in the opening round. Lopez’ corner appealed for a video review, but it was consequently rejected and the 3 points stayed. After a scoreless second round, Lopez tried to be more aggressive; nonetheless, the Thai opponent snuffed her attempts to walk away with the win and Olympic berth with a 5-2 scoreline.

After the match, Lopez was visibly dejected. In her interview, however, the 2013 Asian Youth Games gold medalist accepted the result. “Unfortunately, I did not make it,” she opened. Lopez tried to shake off the head kick awarded to the opponent and even stressed, “It is just the beginning of the fight, I can still return.”

The jin believed that her opponent was strong. “She was challenging, but I think, naunahan niya ko,” she said.

On Monday, the 4th Asian Taekwondo Poomsae follows at the same venue starting at 9:00 am. The Philippine team looks to improve on their fourth-place performance in the previous championship on the strength of 2-2-1 gold-silver-bronze medal tally.

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Photo courtesy of Martin San Diego of Fullcourtfresh.com

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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