HANGZHOU, China – Kurt Barbosa fought with a sense of urgency throughout but could not solve the mystery of Uzbekistan’s Omonjon Otajonov dropping his opening match at the 19th Asian Games.
Otajonov escaped with a 2-0 win in the men’s taekwondo -58kg round of 32 at the Lin’an Sports Culture and Exhibition Center on Monday, surviving a fiery exchange with the Philippine Olympian in two rounds.
Barbosa took the lead early in the first round with a head kick, immediately taking control with a 4-0 lead before the Uzbek stormed back with a head strike of his own, followed by two consecutive body punches, giving him a 5-4 lead grabbed. .
The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist leveled the score at 12 one last time in the second round, all with a booming kick to the body, but Otajonov scored a timely goal just as time was about to expire .
Veronica Garces was also left out after Iran’s Mobina Nematzadeh asserted herself in the women’s 16 -49kg round with a 2-0 win.
Garces earlier advanced after a 2-0 win over Tajikistan’s Shirinmohi Mirshakarzoda in the round of 32.
The Philippine jins secured the first medal for Team Philippines on Sunday thanks to Patrick King Perez’s bronze medal in the men’s individual poomsae.