KARATEKA Junna Tsukii stunned World No. 6 Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil in a tournament in Arandelovac, Serbia over the weekend.
A women’s individual -50 kg. kumite gold medalist in last year’s 30th Southeast Asian Games, Tsukii and Kumizaki were ended their gold medal match at 1-1, but the Fil-Japanese emerged triumphant via tiebreaker.
The 29-year-old Pasay-born Tsukii, currently ranked No. 10 in the world in the minus-50 kg. weight class, competed in the minus-55 kg.
“I really feel the results of training the month in here,” said Tsukii.
It was an upset of sorts, as Kumizaki was a silver medalist in the 2016 World Championships in Linza, Austria.
Continuing her preparations for the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, Tsukii left Japan in late October to train in Serbia with Karate Klub Knjaz Arandjelovac.
Tsukii was given an invitation to train with some of the best karatekas in the world, including 2018 -61 kg. world champion Jovana Prekovic.
The event was a simulation of the Olympic qualifying tournament set next year which will see a round robin format with the karateka
garnering the most points advancing to the next round.
Along with Jamie Lim, who won the women’s individual +61 kg. kumite event in the SEA Games and is also vying for a slot in the
Tokyo Games, Tskuii is among the Philippines’ best in karatedo.