UPDATE: Kurt Barbosa is out of the medal race as he failed to enter the repechage of the men's -58 kilogram division of the taekwondo event. See updates in the fifth paragraph.
Kurt Barbosa crashed out of gold medal contention after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of reigning world champion Jang Jun of South Korea, 6-26, in the Round of 16 of the men's -58 kilogram division in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics taekwondo competition, Saturday (July 24) at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.
Barbosa, the lone taekwondo bet of the Philippines, struggled to establish his footing in the early goings as the South Korean asserted dominance for a 12-1 advantage in the first round.
Jang then wasted no time seizing control in the second round with a plethora of attacks to the head and body of Barbosa, extending the lead to 24-6.
The Filipino hopeful tried to will his way back in the final moments but the world no. 1 taekwondoin sealed the deal via point gap to advance to the next round.
Following the defeat, Barbosa could have had a chance to contend for a bronze medal in repechage, in case Jang makes it to the gold medal match. However, the South Korean suffered an upset at the hands of Tunisia's Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi that officially ended Barbosa's campaign.
Barbosa, a 2019 SEA Games gold medalist, became the first member of the 19-strong Philippine delegation to bow out in the Tokyo Games.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.