Despite Olympic Loss, Barbosa Feat ‘Unbelievable’ says Ex-Olympian Monsour Del Rosario

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Kurt Barbosa fell short in his quest to hand the Philippines a medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but the path he took to get there remains unprecedented.

The 21-year-old Filipino jin fell to Jang Jun of South Korea, the top seed in the top 16, 26-6. With the odds stacked against him, former Olympian Monsour Del Rosario admitted that Barbosa already had a tough task ahead of him when he appeared on the Rica “Baby Dynamite” podcast Saturday opposite pro-boxer Rica Aquino and this writer.

“Unfortunately, and luck of draw, sa dami na pwedeng bunutin na una mong makakalaban, ang una mong nabunot yung seeded no. 1 sa top 16. Yung number one pa nabunot mo. Ang malas talaga, world champion kaagad… Tapos ang una mong sabak parang finals na kaagad,” Del Rosario stated in the podcast.

Before Barbosa took on the Korean, Del Rosario already had an inkling of things to come. Just as most had expected, the only chance the 21-year-old had was through the repechage stage and if Jang Jun would go all the way to the finals.

That was all dashed when Jang lost to Tunisian jin Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi, 25-19.

Monsour Del Rosario [photo from Monsour Del Rosario Facebook Page]
Monsour Del Rosario [photo from Monsour Del Rosario Facebook Page]
Regardless, Del Rosario admits he was surprised seeing the National University student get this far. He was expecting Pauline Lopez, Kirstie Elaine Alora and Arven Alcantara, all seasoned fighters to make it.

“Yes! Because I was expecting Pauline to make it, Elaine to make it, Arven to make it. They were more of the seasoned, more experienced fighters. Like si Elaine was already in the Olympics. So I was banking on them, na I think its these guys who would make it,” Del Rosario explained.

“And then all of a sudden, Kurt comes from behind. He had a great match in Jordan against the hometown favorite. And talo na siya. Last dying seconds nahabol niya. Tapos, tinalo niya,” he added.

Regardless, Del Rosario shared that the Philippine Olympians Association (POA) already has something lined up for Barbosa and the other representatives who carried the Philippine colors to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“Kurt, when he returns, we will induct him as part of the Philippine Olympians Association (POA) member. I sit in the board with our president, three-time Olympian swimmer Akiko Thompson-Guevarra and our chairman – 1956 Olympian Tito Paeng Hechanova. And we have our board there Jethro Dionisio, Stephen Fernandez, Amparo “Weena” Lim for badminton, we have Freddie Webb for basketball. We have other Olympians who sit on the board. And these Olympians, 19 of them, we will induct them as part of the Philippine Olympians Association,” Del Rosario stated.

“Very rare. There’s not too many Olympians in the country, moreso Olympic medalists,” he added.

Kurt Barbosa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics [photo credit: carlospadillav via Philippine Taekwondo Association Facebook page]
Kurt Barbosa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics [photo credit: carlospadillav via Philippine Taekwondo Association Facebook page]
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