Pinay jin Kirstie Alora gets needed boost with parents' arrival in time for Olympic debut
Kirstie Alora goes through tactics in the days leading to her fight. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANEIRO — Kirstie Elaine Alora got a needed boost in her campaign in the taekwondo competitions of the XXXI Olympiad when her family arrived on Thursday (Friday Manila time).

Chief of mission Joey Romasanta said Alora’s parents, Lito and Marilou, made the trip to Rio from Alaska to watch their daughter compete in the quadrennial meet for the very first time. Her sister Kathlyn is also expected to come over from Manila.

“Of course, masaya ako. Extra motivation sa akin,” said Alora.

“We helped her in so far as her parents are coming over. Morale booster for her kasi siyempre naho-homesick na rin siya, mag-iisang buwan na rin tayo dito at pakonti na kami dito,” said Romasanta.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) vice president is confident about the chances of Alora as she has been fully acclimatized with the conditions here after almost a month of stay.

“We have high hopes for Alora. Preparation wise, kumpleto siya and at the same time, she arrived much earlier para mag-acclimatize at dito na silya magensayo. Maganda ang kanyang attiude at well-motivated siya," he said.

Alora will be facing top-ranked Maria Espinoza of Mexico in the first round of the women's +67kg division on Saturday morning (Saturday night Manila time).

“We are looking forward to a competitive Alora,” Romasanta added.

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