Boxer Bado also bows out of contention
The Philippines lost another top medal hopeful after Tokyo Games veteran Kurt Barbosa dropped his opening round match to Uzbekistan’s Omonjon Otajonov at the start of taekwondo’s Kyorugi (free sparring) event in the 19th Asian Games.
Barbosa started tentatively but rallied furiously to tie the count at 14-all at the end of the exciting two-round contest in the men’s -58-kilogram division at the Lin’an Sports Culture and Exhibition Centre on Monday.
Unfortunately for the Philippines, the Uzbek was declared winner due to superiority.
Despite his height disadvantage, Barbosa was the more aggressive fighter in the second round, desperate to pull off the win that would have sent him to round-of-16.
“Alam mo naman si Kurt walang kinatatakutan kahit matangkad at mahaba ang kalaban nya,” said taekwondo official Rocky Samson. “But due to superiority, he lost.”
It also happened to Veronica Garces in the women’s -49 class as she lost to the taller third-seeded Mobina Nematzadeh in the round-of-16. She hurdled her opening match, beating Tajikistan’s Shirinmohi Mirshakarzoda.
Garces did everything possible to score cleanly but the Iranian, with her vast experience, proved elusive.
On Tuesday, two more jins will see action with Joseph Chua going up against Nurbek Gazes of Kazakhstan in the round-of-16 of the men’s -63kg while Baby Jessica Canabal, a silver medalist in the recent Korean Open tackles Japanese Katoh Yuzuho in the women’s -53kg class.
In boxing, Aaron Jude Bado lost his debut fight against Thitisan Panmot of Thailand at the Hangzhou gymnasium.
The 51kg match ended in an RSC-L (Referee Stopped Contest-Injury) in the second round.
The Filipino suffered a huge cut on his left eyebrow that prompted the ring official to stop the fight with 16 seconds remaining in the round.
“Naputukan sa kilay. Medyo mahaba,” said coach Ronald Chavez of the injury suffered by Bado, a gold medal winner in the Asian U22 Boxing Championship early this year, but fighting in his first Asiad campaign.
He was the first member of the men’s team to bow out of contention as Olympian Eumir Marcial and Mark Ashley Fajardo won their respective opening round matches on Monday.
In all, Bado is the third Filipino boxer to fall by the wayside after Aira Villegas and another Olympian in Irish Magno.