Tearful Alora still unable to overcome Cambodian rival but has no regrets
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Kirstie Elaine Alora was still breathing heavily when she spoke to the media right after yet another loss to her Cambodian rival Sorn Seavmey on Tuesday, August 29, in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games here.
She caught her breath and controlled herself through over two minutes of interview. But the defeat, her fourth straight to the same opponent since 2014, sunk in a few more minutes later, and the tears came rushing.
The Filipino Rio Olympian won a silver but knowing she was unable to overcome this same foe on her fourth try overwhelmed Alora.
"Talagang nahihirapan din ako. Ilang beses na niya ako tinalo," she said. "Usually sa finals kami nagtatapat talaga." (It was very difficult for me. She's beaten me several times already. Usually we meet in the finals.)
Sorn, the reigning Asiad gold medalist, defeated Alora, 13-6, in the women's kyorugi -73kg event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, marking a fourth consecutive victory for the Cambodian following wins in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the 2016 Asian Taekwondo Championships, and the 2016 Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Manila.
Alora is much shorter than her 6-foot counterpart and that height disadvantage continues to hound her.
"Perhaps her length. When I try to intercept, her nudges come first. But almost, almost. I'm still shocked by the calls of the referees. That's what I was missing, I think," she explained in Filipino.
"We studied her for so long. In the first and second round, I think I was ahead of her. But the last round I became careless because I was trying to catch up. But I still think this is my best fight against her."
Alora, a 3-time SEA Games gold medalist, also rued the penalties against her that amounted to 5 points for Sorn.
"It's a big factor, na naiwanan niya ako doon (that she left me behind in that aspect)," noted Alora, who defeated Sorn Seavmey's sister Davin for the 2013 SEA Games gold.
Alora and Sorn are likely to clash again in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games from September 15 to 24 in Turkmenistan, where the Filipino taekwondo jin will get another shot at redemption.
Despite the heartbreaking setback, Alora has no regrets about her performance.
"I did my best," she said. "I'm trying to score and get some points but maybe I still lack follow-ups. It's a good fight, I think I did my best. So no regrets." – Rappler.com