Junna Tsukii, who has slightly moved up in the world rankings, is staying in shape at home.
This will help her prepare for competitions, which will keep her on track for a slot in the Tokyo Olympics, now slated in July of 2021.
The Fil-Japanese member of the national team said this as she and her family isolated themselves inside their home in Saitama, Japan.
Last February, Tsukii moved up to world no. 9 when she reached the fourth round of the Dubai leg of the 2020 Karate1 Premier League.
Tsukii, who was bracketed in Pool 3, got past Jelena Pehar of Croatia, 3-0, in the third round. She fell out contention when world no. 6 Bettina Plank of Austria beat her in 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 for next year’s Olympics.
Born in Pasay City, Tsukii moved to Japan when she was just three years old.
She studied in Takushoko University, inspired by legendary karateka Hirokazu Kanazawa, who studied in the same school.
“In the morning, I do physical training at home or I do sprints near my home. In the afternoon, I practice karate,” said the 29-year-old Tsukii in an online interview with the Manila Standard.
The Tsukii family has decided to stay at home as the number of coronavirus infection rose in Japan and with the international karatedo community urging its athletes to train at home.
The Karate 2020 Qualification tournaments have been postponed. This includes that event was scheduled to be held in Paris this year, which was suspended due to the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by the International Olympic Committee.
The Qualification Tournament’s new schedule has yet to be decided.
The first-ever Olympic Qualification tournament for the sport had initially been scheduled in May 2020. But it was transferred to June 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I try to move my body twice a day in order not to break my routine. I’m preparing to start the match at any time, but what is most needed now is protect yourself from corona and keep people from getting infected,” added Tsukii, who is at home with her dad Shi Tsukii, along with her mom, Lilia Villanueva-Tsukii, and five siblings.
Once the pandemic is put under control, Tsukii plans to be in the World Championship in Dubai this November.
There’s also Asian Championship, which has already been postponed to next year.
Tsukii won’t be moving around much in Saitama, after local officials urged its residents to refrain from unnecessary travel.
So far, cases of infection have not rapidly increased within the Saitama prefecture, according to reports.
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