Four PH karatekas to compete in karate worlds

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) – Four Filipino karatekas will represent the country in the 2021 World Karate Championships on Nov. 16-21 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

World No. 2 Junna Tsukii leads the Philippine quartet and will see action in her pet event women's kumite 50 kilogram class.

Tsukii, currently training in Serbia, recently clinched the gold medal in the said division in the 2021 Karate1 Premier League held in Cairo, Egypt last September. She also topped the weight class in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and won a bronze in the 2018 Asian Games.

"We all know that Junna is almost competing every month, so she has the experience, the mental awareness to control the game. I would say that her chances of winning in this world championship are so high," said Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim during the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Fellow 2019 SEAG gold medalist Jamie Lim will compete in a lower weight class in the women's kumite -61 kg division in the world championships, after being a regular campaigner in the +61 kg division for some time.

"I've been studying my opponents, they are also tall. I will just do the same way as I did before and have the same focus and training," said Lim, who are with other national karatekas in a training bubble in Baguio City.

Kata specialists Sarah Pangilinan and Joco Vasquez complete the cast of the Filipino karatekas competing in the Dubai world tilt.

The four also competed in the Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournament held in Paris, France, where no Filipino secured a slot to the Games.

Lim said she hopes the athletes will have respectable finishes in the upcoming tournament to help them win more medals for the country next year, such as in the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.

"The trend right now is not getting exposure, they really need to win," said Lim.