Kurt Barbosa credits his hat emblazoned with “ABRA” to his success in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh.
A native of the northern Philippine province, Barbosa, who bagged the gold medal in the men’s taekwondo 54 kg event, said he had bought it at a boutique store and wore it practically everywhere he went.
The pride of Bangued, Abra defeated Ramnarong Sawekwiharee of Thailand in the final for his third straight SEA Games gold.
“It’s my lucky charm. Me and my girlfriend bought it in one of the boutiques. I even wore it during the PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Awards Night,” Barbosa said.
“I even wore it when I went into training. I have been drawing inspiration from it and I love Abra.”
Barbosa will have little time to rest as he is slated to join the 2023 World Taekwondo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 29 May to 4 June.
He plans on improving on his quarterfinal finish last year in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a more impressive performance.
In that meet, Barbosa fell to Hungarian Omar Salim in the quarterfinals. Salim went on to win the gold.
“After ten days in the Philippines, we have world championships to prepare for. I want to get back from it and became one of my inspirations to bounce back,” Barbosa said.
Expect Barbosa to bring that lucky hat with him.