Pauline Lopez’s bid for a ticket to Tokyo Games is off to a rousing start.
Lopez needed just four minutes to stop Syria’s Aya Aljrayhe, 22-0, in the women’s minus-57 kg Round of 16 of the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament at Kempinski Hotel in Amman, Jordan, Saturday.
A head kick opened the scoring for Lopez in the first round, and it was all from the Filipino from there, ending the first round at 14-0.
The contest was all but decided midway into the second round when Lopez sent a vicious kick that went straight into the Syrian’s face, forcing the center referee for a count. That kick pushed the score to 20-0.
Back in 2016, Lopez lost in the semifinals as she was just a win shy in qualifying for Rio.
The minus-57 kg division has two Olympic slots at stake in this tournament.
Lopez will take on the winner of the match between Saudi Arabia’s Dunya Ali Abutaleb and Lebanon’s Laeticia Aoun.
Later in the day, Kurt Barbosa will take on Mongolia’s Molom Tumenbayar in the Round of 16 of the men’s minus-58 kg division.
Also on deck later is plus-67 kg Filipina Kirstie Alora who will face Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova for a place in the Games.