SEA Games: Philippines wins karate gold, thanks to Junna Tsukii

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2019 03:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2019 12:00 AM

Junna Tsukii followed her up her bronze medal win the 2018 Asian Games with a 2019 SEA Games gold. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines--Junna Tsukii outworked all her opponents to emerge with the gold medal in women’s -50-kg kumite in Southeast Asian Games taekwondo at the World Trade Center on Saturday.

Tsukii defeated Vietnam's Dinh Thi Huong, 1-0, in the final.

It was a sweet victory for Tsukii, who settled for a bronze medal in the 2017 edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

"In my first SEA Games, I lost," she said. "This time, we're in our country and I can show to all the people this gold medal."

"I prepared for a long time for the gold," Tsukii added. "I go to other countries, training there, training here. I competed in many tournaments, so I feel like I got good experience now."

Norman Montalvo failed to make it a double celebration for the Philippine karate team as he settled for the silver in the men’s -55-kg kumite.

Malaysia’s Prem Kumar Selvam, a bronze medalist two years ago in Kuala Lumpur, won the gold with a score of 6-1.

Tsukii, a bronze medalist in the Asian Games last year, powered past Myanmar's Florence Htun in the round of 16, and Malaysia's Nor Azli Siti Nur Azwani in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Tsukii defeated Thailand's Paweena Raksachart 3-1 to advance to the gold medal match.

Meanwhile, Montalvo powered past Myanmar's John Maung in the quarterfinals, but had to recover from an early deficit for a 9-5 win over Cambodia's Steves Yuthana Tep in the semis.

Also winning medals for the Philippines were Sarah Pangilinan and John Enrico Vasquez, who took the bronze in the women's and man's individual kata.

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2019 SEA Games