Pinay karateka Junna Tsukii catching up in race for 2020 Olympic spot


Posted at Feb 20 2020 06:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2020 08:05 PM

From being ranked outside the top 200 in women’s minus-50-kg kumite in September 2018, SEA Games champion Junna Tsukii is now No. 9 in the world. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News/file

If anybody were told two years ago that Junna Tsukii would have a shot at reaching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it would have sounded preposterous at the time.

But so much has changed since 2018, and the Filipina karateka who won gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is on the verge of actually flying to the Japan Games in July.

From being ranked outside the top 200 in the women’s minus-50 kilogram kumite category, Tsukii is now No. 9 in the world.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘how much chance, what percentage, do you have to participate in the Olympics?’ ” she said in a Facebook post Thursday.

“I reply to them, ‘chance is always born once I commit to my opportunity. Without the challenge, my percentage is always zero. As I chase my dream over time, I will have infinite opportunities to open doors to greatness.”


Only two Filipinos have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so far, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo.

Besides the SEA Games gold, Tsukii won bronze in the 2018 Asian Games.

She found herself in the middle of a controversy in December when she revealed being ignored and bullied by the national coach after her SEA Games victory. 

An investigation into the incident by the Philippine Sports Commission reportedly began in January. 

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