Theresa Tona, Papua New Guinean Taekwondo champion and Olympian, will compete tonight at 7pm local time. She is the last athlete from team PNG to compete and one of the only two martial artists to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Her other counterpart was Judo’s Raymond Ovinou who was eliminated in the first round of competition.
Tona, ranked 16th by the World Taekwondo Federation, will be fighting Erika Kashara from Japan in the 49kg division. According to her coach Andy Rutten, she was placed in a favorable draw and has a good chance to win a medal.
The 21 year old Kairiku lass qualified last September, and has been training in South Australia three times a day with Rutten who was recently appointed as the PNG Taekwondo Olympic coach. This will be Tona’s second Olympic having competed in Beijing four years ago.
Rutten said that Tona has a chance of earning a medal and was physically prepared.
If Tona wins her first fight then she will face China’s Jingyu Wu who is the No.1 seed. This will give her a chance for a medal even if she loses to favorite Wu who is expected to easily defeat Guatamela’s Elizabeth Gordillo.