Lopez, a 21-year-old Ateneo psychology student, swept her first four opponents in the under-57 kilogram competition en route to the finals where she dominated Brazil’s Rasaela Araujo 16-11 to the delight of her SMART/MVP Sports Foundation teammates.
“I was excited, very happy and overwhelmed,” Lopez said after whipping her Brazilian opponent.
“That victory is important because it has inspired me to work harder and pursue all the more my dream to make it to the Olympic Games, which I narrowly missed in last year’s qualifying tournament for the Rio Olympics,” she added.
Lopez started her campaign by crushing a Korean 21-5. Then she toppled a Guamanian 22-2, nipped her Chinese rival 6-5, and then beat France’s entry 11-5 to move into the finals.
Lopez, who started in taekwondo in 2010 when she was only 14, works out twice a day.
“That’s the reason I manage to sharpen my skills especially when preparing for important tournaments like next month’s SEA Games in Malaysia,” she said.
Lopez also won gold medals in the 2015 SEA Games and 2013 Asian Youth championships in China.
The Philippine team’s trip was supported by PLDT, Meralco, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.