Rising tae kwon do star Pauline Louise Lopez displayed her readiness to represent the Philippines in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia next month by winning a gold medal in the 2017 Chuncheon Korea Open Interna-tional Taekwondo Championships last July 5 in Chuncheon, South Korea.
Lopez, 20, showed courage and toughness sweeping all five matches in the preliminary round of the kyorugi (spar-ring) event, including one against Brazilian Rafela Viera de Arauju whom she beat in the finals to bag the women’s Under-57 kilogram title.
She said her success in the prestigious international tournament would boost her morale and confidence heading to the biennial SEA Games slated on August 19 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur.
Lopez outlasted de Arauju in the finals, 16-11. Before that, she defeated Korean Kim Da Hye, 21-5, in round-of-64 and then blasted Amber Toves of Guam, 22-2, in round-of-32. Lopez beat Wanhui Li, 6-5, in the quarterfinals and French Laurygan Celin in the semifinals, 11-5.
“Definitely, this is a steppingstone toward the SEA Games,” Lopez, who is an incoming sophomore student at the Ateneo De Manila University, told The Manila Times on Friday in an online interview.
“Korea Open is one of the hardest open tournaments to join, and this win is a good preparation.”
“This will be my fourth SEA Games and I’m so determined to get another gold for the Philippines. In God’s time, always for him,” she added.
The 2015 Singapore SEA Games gold medallist also bagged the gold in the Asian Youth Games in 2013, and the 22nd Asian Tae Kwon Do Championship in 2016.