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Junna Tsukii now rated world No. 3

Filipino-Japanese karateka Junna Tsukii jumped to No. 3 in the women’s -50-kilogram kumite in the latest World Karate Federation rankings.

Tsukii moved up from No. 5 after garnering 3037.50 points after placing fifth overall in the 18th Asian Senior Karate Championship 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, last month.

Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela, who Tsukii defeated in the final of the 2022 World Games last July, is at No. 1 with 5482.50 points while Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkey at second with 5032.50 points.

In a bid to boost her rankings, Tsukii is set to compete in the Karate1 Premier League in Cairo, Egypt, late this month.

“My journey this year starts with third place in the world ranking. The tournament starts with the Premier League in Egypt from 27-29 this month,” Tsukii said.

“I will do my best to keep evolving.”

Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim told Daily Tribune he is proud of Tsukii’s ranking despite missing the podium in the Tashkent tilt after losing to Al Ajmi Hawraa of the United Arab Emirates, 3-6, in the repechage.

The 31-year-old karateka is also set to arrive in the Philippines on 28 February for the Southeast Asian Championships slated 24 to 26 March.

“Although she didn’t finish on the podium, she got enough points to get to No. 3 in the rankings. You can only get ranking points in the Series A, Premier League, continental championships and the world championships,” Lim said.

“We’re very optimistic with Junna and with the other players. She will be here at the end of February but she might be here earlier.”

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