Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Pauline Lopez missed the Tokyo Olympics bus, after losing 21-10 to Lebanon’s Laetitia Aoun in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification tournament in the capital city of Amman, Jordan on Saturday.
After a 3-3 score in the first round, Lopez broke the deadlock as the Filipina champion connected on the head of Aoun to lead 6-3 at the start of the ensuing round.
But the Lebanese jin rallied down the stretch of the second round with back-to-back kicks for a commanding 11-6 score heading into the final round.
Aoun never looked back as she forced her way through the semifinals with a more impressive performance in the third round, highlighted by a body kick that sent Lopez down on the floor in the last minute of the match 17-10.
Lopez came from a dominating 22-0 victory earlier over Aya Al-Jarayhe of Syria in the Round of 16 of the women’s under 57 kg.
The result left the Philippines to pin its hopes for Olympic tickets on Kurt Barbosa in men’s -58 kg and Kirstie Alora in women’s +67 kg.
Barbosa is set to face Zaid Al-Halawani of Jordan in the semifinals, where a victory would send him to the Tokyo Games this year.
Alora has the same fate should she beat Kazakhstan’s Cansel Deniz in a semifinal duel. She represented the Philippines in the Rio Olympics back in 2016.