Filipina jin Kirstie Alora sets sights on 2020 after bowing out of Rio Olympics
Kirstie Alora says she had plans to retire if she medaled in Rio, but now wants a shot in Tokyo. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANEIRO — Kirstie Elaine Alora was left in in tears after she exited the Olympic taekwondo competitions, ending the Philippine campaign in Rio.

But Alora says that the losses will serve as a lesson for her and fuel her to do better as she eyes a return in the Tokyo Olympics.

“Another sad moment na second chance ko na pero still, parang pinagkait sa akin. Siguro kailangan ko pa na ’wag itigil ’yung journey ko sa pagtataekwondo,” said Alora.

[See Philippine campaign in Rio ends as Moroccan jin wins repechage to deny Alora shot at bronze]

Alora lost in her first match against Maria Espinoza of Mexico, but got another shot in a repechage when Espinoza reached the finals of the women’s +67kg division.

She needed two wins to get the bronze medal, but got tripped on the first fight.

Going up against a taller Dislam, Alora gained a 5-4 lead in the final round with 20 seconds to play but the Moroccan landed shots to the body in the final seconds to take command.

In her final attempt to win the bout, Alora attempted a kick to the head that could have given her three points but the strike didn't register on the scoreboard and not even a video review could overturn it.

Alora said she had plans of retiring if she won a medal in Rio, but now she wants another shot.

[See Gold hopes dashed for Alora after falling to top-seeded Mexican foe]

“Instinct ko kasi is if magkamedal ako, maybe this is the last. I think may gusto pa si God sa akin na have a long journey for my taekwondo career,” said Alora.

“For this journey, maybe it’s God’s will na kung ano ’yung para sa akin, ayaw pa Niya ako huminto. Maybe gusto Niya ako maging Asian champion or world champion before maging Olympic champion,” said Alora.

Alora said she will have to work even harder for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I think kailangan ko pa mag-ensayo to get a good ranking kasi ’yung mga nakakalaban ko have a good standing. ’Yun talaga kailangan ko i-pursue na taasan ’yung ranking ko. I need to have a medal dun sa mga sasalihan ko. ’Yun ang magmomotivate sa akin na pag-igihan pa,” said Alora.



Follow the writer on Twitter: @jeromeascano