National karateka Junna Tsukii reached the fourth round of the Dubai leg of the 2020 Karate1 Premier League.
She missed a podium finish when she bowed out of the quarterfinals but gained additional points to boost her chances to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 29-year-old Tsukii, who is bracketed in Pool 3, got past Jelena Pehar of Croatia, 3-0, in the third round.
According to live updates provided by the organizers, world no. 6 Bettina Plank of Austria then eased out Tsukii in the round 4, to earn the top berth in their bracket.
Philippine Karatedo Federation president Richard Lim is keeping his fingers crossed that Tsukii will remain on track for a slot to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“I have six players seeking qualification in the Olympics, and two are competing in Dubai. Its diffiicult to qualify. And they are doing one of three ways to qualify,” said Lim.
Last month, Tsukii improved her chance earn a berth by taking a bronze medal in the 2020 Karate1 Premier League, which had its Paris last January 26.
As of now, Tsukii is now ranked no. 10 in the world.
It was her second bronze in the female -50kg kumite event in a span of two weeks.
And that’s after she got back at Venezuelan Yorgelis Salazar, 2-0, who beat her in the Series A tournament in Chile.
California-based Joan Orbon is with Tsukii in Dubai.
She fought her way past Chaimi Midi of Algeria, 10-8, in pool 2 the women’s -61 kg kumite.
Then, Orbon bowed to Gianna Lotfy of Egypt in round 2.
Lim said the other karatedos who are seeking qualification for the Olympics are Jamie Lim, Ivan Agustin, Sharief Afif and Alwyn Batican.
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