By Tracy Cabrera
Veteran karateka Junna Tsukii. (Photo: Good News Pilipinas)
MANILA — Filipina karateka Junna Tsukii will be the first Filipino athlete to receive a cash incentive of P1 million under the administration of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. following her gold medal win in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States last week.
The cash incentive was confirmed by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) executive director Guillermo Iroy who said that Tsukii will be given by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) after scoring a well-fought triumph in the women’s 50-kg kumite (freestyle fighting) over World No. 2 Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela in the finals.
Iroy added that the Pinay karateka will be given her incentive as soon as she arrives in Manila after her sojourn in the US.
Overcoming a slow start, Tsukii made history by defeating her opponent following straight victories over the lean but elite field of eight karatekas—five of them ranked in the world’s top 10. Her win over Salazar showed she had learned from their previous encounter as she lost her opening match in a lopsided fashion against the Venezuelan.
Tsukii’s feat gave her the distinction of being the second athlete from the Philippines to win gold in the World Games. Billiards player Carlo Biado was the only other Filipino athlete to capture gold in 2017. (AI/MTVN)