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Lopez bags gold in Korea Open

Pauline Louise Lopez did the country proud by bagging a gold medal in the recent 2017 Korea Open international taekwondo championships in Chuncheon City, Korea.

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A 21-year-old Ateneo psychology student, Lopez swept her first four opponents in the under-57 kilogram competition to finals where she dominated Brazil’s Rasaela Araujo, 16-11, to the delight of her SMART/MVP Sports Foundation teammates.

“I was excited, very happy and overwhelmed,” Lopez recalled of her feeling after whipping her Brazilian opponent.

“That victory is important because it has inspired me to work harder and pursue all the more my dream to make it to the Olympic Games, which I narrowly missed in last year’s qualifying tournament for the Rio Olympics.”

Lopez started her Korean campaign by crushing a Korean, 21-5. Then she toppled a Guamanian, 22-2, nipped her Chinese rival, 6-5, and then beat France’s entry, 11-5, to move into the finals.

Lopez, who started in taekwondo in 2010 when she was only 14, works out twice a day. “That’s the reason I manage to sharpen my skills,” specially when preparing for important tournaments like next month’s SEA Games in Malaysia,” she said.

Lopez also counts with a gold wins in the 2015 SEAG and 2013 Asian Youth championships in China.

The Philippine team’s trip was supported by PLDT, Meralco, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.

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