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Abra folk proud of Barbosa’s Olympic glory quest

TOUCH DOWN. Abrenio Kurt Barbosa who is among the 16 taekwondo jins competing in the biggest stage arrived Sunday in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics. Barbosa is one of 19 Filipino athletes seeking the country’s first Olympic gold is cheered by his provincemates to be at his best in the Tokyo games. He is also the first from Abra to be competing in the Olympics. Kurt Barbosa Photo

Abra people are proud that one of their sons is ready to go into action in the Tokyo Summer Olympics that will start this Friday, July 23.

Kurt Bryan Barbosa arrived in the Japanese capital Monday along with the Philippine delegates, 18 of them will be seeing action in the games that was delayed by a year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Abrenian community is proud of son, go go,” wrote Conrado Bandayrel on the Abra Province Facebook page where Barbosa’s photo arriving in Tokyo generated more than 1,100 likes

Good luck and go nakong (son) or ading (younger brother) were posted by several netizens of the province who for the first time has an athlete coming from the province competing in the biggest sports stage held every four years.

Barbosa booked a ticket to the Olympics after a come from behind victory over Al-Halawani of Jordan 50-49 in the final match of the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament last May in Amman, Jordan.

The 151st ranked Barbosa will be competing against 15 of the world’s bests including top ranked Jun Jang of Korea.

Others in the mix for Team Philippines are favored EJ Obiena (pole vault), gymnast Carlos Yulo, golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan, boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno and Carlo Paalam, rower Cris Nievarez, swimmer Luke Gebbie (50 meter and 100-meter freestyle), swimmer Remedy Rule (100-meter and 200-meter butterfly), trickster Kristina Knott (200-meter run), Jayson Valdez (10-meter rifle), judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, skateboarder Margielyn Didal and weightlifters Elreen Ando and 2016 silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

Obiena, Yulo, Saso, boxers Marcial and Petecio and Diaz are expected medal contenders. Barbosa along with Paalam, Pgunsan and Pagdangan are said to have outside shots, while longshots are Magno, Didal, Nievarez, Gebbie, Rule, Valdez, Watanabe and Knott.

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