Kurt Barbosa vows to keep on fighting after Tokyo Olympics exit

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South Korea’s Jang Jun (Blue) and the Philippines’ Kurt Bryan Barbosa (Red) compete in the taekwondo men’s -58kg elimination round bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Kurt Barbosa vowed that his exit in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is just the beginning of his young international career.

Taking to Instagram, Barbosa thanked those close to him and stressed that the loss to top ranked jin Jan Jung is not the end for him.

“This may not be our time but I promise that I won’t stop fighting and trying because I believe that losing is part of the game and it is where we learn and get the courage to fight again. We are just getting started,” wrote Barbosa Saturday.

“I will surely apply all of my experiences on my next games and I hope you are all still with me until we get that victory. I dedicate all of this to my family, I appreciate the non-stop support that you gave me, you guys are the reason why I always keep moving. We won’t lose hope, if we believe that we can achieve something, then we will. My next goal is to work hard for my next fight, gain more experience because we still have much to learn. The show must go on; our time will come.”

Barbosa faced Jang, a five-time World Taekwondo Federation Grand Prix champion and the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships gold medalist, in his first Olympic experience and he was promptly dominated losing 26-6.

The Southeast Asian Game gold medalist had a chance to enter the bronze medal repachage, the tournament for those who lost to the two eventual finalists, but Jang suffered an upset loss to Tunisia’s Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi, 25-19, in the semifinals.

“To my beloved Philippines, it was an honor carrying your name in an event as big as this one,” wrote Barbosa in Filipino. “I will not give up. Thank you to my countrymen, we will get back up.”

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