Karateka Junna Tsukii has made sports history after becoming the first Filipina athlete to win a World Games gold medal.
Tsukii’s gold is only the second for the nation at the World Games since it began in 1981. The first gold for the country was won by Carlo Biado in the nine-ball singles event of the 2017 Games.
Tsukii earned the top medal in the Women’s Kumite Under-50kg division at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, United States.
The 30-year-old Filipina athlete exacted revenge upon Venezuela’s Yorgelis Salazar, 2-0, in the finals of the event held on July 8 (July 9 Philippine time). Tsukii earlier lost to the Venezuelan in her first Pool A bout, 8-1.
Tsukii came back stronger and went on to win her next Pool A bout against Germany’s Shara Hubrich, 6-4, and drew with Spain’s Morales Ozuna Gema, 3-3.
The Filipino Japanese member of the Philippine national team advanced to the semifinals and defeated Japan’s Miho Miyahara, 3-4, to gain a finals berth.
Tsukii’s gold win placed the Philippines in joint 7th place among 22 nations in the Karate Medal Standings of the World Games.
Junna Tsukii has moved up in the Karate World Federation’s rankings and is currently the world No. 5 in the women’s kumite -50-kilogram division.
“This is a gold medal for all of you who have continued to believe in me at all times. Thank you so much, I love you,” Tsukii captioned the social media post of her gold medal photo after her World Games victory.
Tsukii has won several medals as she represented the Philippines in international competitions such as the Karate World Premier League, SEA Games, and Asian Games.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Junna Tsukii for winning Philippine karate’s first World Games gold!
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