PAULINE Lopez is back on the mats.
Ready to start the grind, the two-time Southeast Asian gold medalist and Asian Games bronze medalist has entered the training bubble in Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.
Lopez is among the national taekwondo athletes vying for a spot in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
She joins her teammates Rio veteran Kirtsie Elaine Alora, Arven Alcantara, Kurt Barbosa, and Samuel Morrison in Calamba as they aim to banner the country in the final Asian Olympic Qualifiers, penciled for the third week of March in Amman, Jordan.
The 24-year-old has actually just come from a travel quarantine. She spent almost the entire 2020 in her hometown of Los Angeles, California, and only recently returned to the country.
While waiting out the pandemic in the States, she also continued to do occasional trainings with a personal coach to keep herself in condition.
The Philippine Taekwondo Association has named Lopez among Alora, Alcantara, Barbosa, and Morrison as fighters who have strong chances of making it to the World championship. However, only four slots are allowed per country.