Count Kurt Barbosa in the growing list of Filipino athletes seeing action in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Filipino jin on Saturday edged Zaid Al-Halawani of host Jordan with a come-from-behind win, 50-49, in the semifinals of men’s -58kg category of the Asian Olympics Qualifiers in Amman.
This makes him the ninth Filipino to make it to this year’s Summer Games after after EJ Obiena (pole vault), Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting) and Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio (boxing) and Cris Nievarez (rowing).
Prior to the semis, Barbosa, 21, dominated Mongolia’s Molom Tumenbayar, 40-33, to move a win away to an Olympic berth since only the gold and silver winners of the qualifiers will catch the last bus heading to Tokyo.
Barbosa was a gold medalist during the 30th SEA Games which the country hosted in 2019.
Barbosa is the only jin who punched a ticket to the Tokyo Games after Pauline Lopez and Arven Alcantara bowed out of contention early on in their respective categories.
After Barbosa qualified for the Olympics, 2016 Olympian Kirstie Alora bagged the bronze medal in the 67 kg category. Only the top two contenders for each weight category are given tickets to the Tokyo games. – with reports from Justin Kenneth Carandang/RC/LA, GMA News