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2021 SEA Games

SEA Games: Kurt Barbosa retains -54kg crown


Philippine taekwondo’s golden boy has struck again.

Kurt Barbosa successfully defended his men’s minus-54 kyorugi gold with a huge 16-7 win over Thailand’s Panachai Jaijulla on the second day of the 31st Southeast Asian Games taekwondo competitions, Tuesday at the Tay Ho Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

After scoring just two points in the first round, the 2020 Toky Olympian headed into the third and final round with an 8-0 advantage.

Pacing himself in that last round, Barbosa was able to hold off Jaijulla’s comeback attempt, edging out the Thai, 8-7, in the final frame.

This is the country’s 34th gold in the Games and the second for the national taekwondo jins.

Barbosa, who still has playing years left with National University, earlier needed to outwit Indonesia’s Reinaldy Atmanegara in the high-scoring semifinal match that went into a sudden death round, 44-42, to book his place in the gold medal match.

Laila Delo added a bronze after finishing in the semifinals of the women’s minus-67 kg.

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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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