Kirstie Alora qualifies for Rio 2016 after advancing to finals of Asia Olympic taekwondo qualifying tilt

KIRSTIE Elaine Alora claimed a berth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a semifinal victory over top-seed Akram Khodabandeh of Iran on Saturday in the Asia Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.

Alora trounced a much-taller Khodabandeh, 10-3, in the women’s +67kg division bout to reach the finals, securing a spot in the Olympics this year with the top two finishers in each weight category earning a seat in Rio.

Alora becomes the fourth Filipino to officially qualify for Rio along with Eric Cray of athletics, and Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez of boxing.

Alora is the first Filipino jin to make it to the Olympics since Tshomlee Go and Marie Antoniette Rivero did it in Beijing in 2008.

The Filipina jin came through in the second round, taking a commanding 6-1 lead.

Alora beat Nepal’s Nisha Rawal, 9-0, earlier in the day to earn a semifinal match with Khodabandeh in the weight division that only drew five competitors.

 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports