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Elaine Alora, the lone Filipino taekwondo bet to the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be focusing on improving her speed to strengthen her medal chances in the Games.
Alora said they have been perfecting her speed techniques since qualifying in the +67kgs class to compensate for her height against her taller counterparts.
“Dun kami naka-focus sa training ngayon: speed and aggressiveness. Kasi kapag naunahan ako ng mga kalaban ko, mahihirapan ako,” said the 26-year-old Alora, who is in her first Olympic stint.
Alora stands at 5-foot-8, which is taller than the average Filipino women, but the veteran jin said most of her rivals in her weight class are 6-foot-2 and above.
“Familiar na kasi ako sa mga kalaban ko. Nakita ko na sila sa world and Asian championships. Maliit ako sa category ko kaya kailangan mabilis akong mag-engage pagdating sa tournament,” said Alora.
Alora earned an Olympic berth with a semifinal victory at last month’s Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Manila, where she eventually finished with a silver medal. She hoped to also land a medal at the Games, no matter how ambitious her goal is.
At the moment, the College of St. Benilde alumna trains three times a day from Mondays til Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. Alora hopes to train for one month in Korea, possibly starting the first week of July, but nothing is definite yet in her foreign training as far as the Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) is concerned.