Rio Olympian Kirstie Elaine Alora leads the Philippine taekwondo team to the 2017 World Tae Kwon Do Championship on June 24 to 30 in Muju, South Korea.
The 27-year old Alora, who reached the round of 16 in Rio Olympics last year, said she’s near her peak fighting condition for the upcoming international tournament.
“After my Olympic stint last year, I immediately returned to training. I believe I have a chance of winning in the world championship tournament,” the College of Saint Benilde graduate told The Manila Times.
“So far, our training now is twice a week and for the coming Holy Week it will become thrice a week,” Alora added. “My priority is to increase my speed and stamina.”
The World Championships will serve as the basis for the selection of the national team for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 19 to 31.
Alora, who will be competing in the women’s under 73kg class (middleweight), tags Mexico, Great Britain and South Korea as the countries to beat in her division.
Besides Alora, flyweight Rona Ilao, featherweight Pauline Lopez, twin sisters Rhezie (bantamweight) and Rheza Aragon (flyweight) are also in the women’s team bound for South Korea.
The men’s team is composed of flyweight Aaron Agojo, bantamweight Joaquin Mendoza, lightweight Arven Alcantara, lightweight Samuel Morrison, welterweight Al dela Cruz, middleweight Abraham Lance Cuvinar and flyweight Jenar Torrillos.
The national team will be under the tutelage of former national players Dindo Simpao and Japoy Lizardo.
JOSEF T. RAMOS