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13 July 2019 | in Taekwondo

Iran, Chinese Taipei win last two Taekwondo golds

South Korea finish top of the sport's medal table at Universiade

NAPOLI, 13 July -- Iran and Chinese Taipei won the last two Taekwondo gold medals at the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade with victories in the men's and women's team Kyorugi events respectively on Saturday.


South Korea crashed out in the quarter-finals in the men's competition and had to make do with second place in the women's, but still finished top of the sport's medal table with seven golds, three silvers and two bronzes.


The team Kyorugyi event was a fitting way to conclude eight days of blistering Taekwondo in Naples. The action was furious, with every team member used at least once, creating frequent mismatches in terms of weight and making for wonderful entertainment.


Iran claimed their fifth Taekwondo gold of the Games, thumping Egypt 33-6. The Egyptian team is better than the sum of its parts, having knocked out Chinese Taipei and South Korea on the way to the final. But they could not do any more giant killing as they were clearly outclassed against Iran.


Mirhashem Hosseini, who also won the under-68 kilos individual competition, was the driving force of the Iranian triumph. He put his team up 6-1 in his first turn on the mat and kept landing kicks to the head throughout the contest.


Erfan Nazemi, the only member of the Iranian team who did not an win individual gold at the Universaide, also played a big role, going upstairs to land a series of point-scoring hits.


The bronze medals in the men's team Kyorugi went to Malaysia and Chinese Taipei. The women's final was much closer, with Chinese Taipei edging South Korea 19-17.


The Taipei women, led by Su Po-Ya, the winner of the individual under-53 kilo gold, made the early running and took an 8-3 lead. But the Koreans clawed back that time and again when another five-point gap opened up later in the fight.


The teams were level 17-17 in the closing stages. But Ma Ting-Hsia landed a two-point hit with the clock running down to earn Chinese Taipei their second gold. Defeated semi-finalists Poland and the United States got the bronze medals.


Paul Virgo @ ANSA

Su triumphs for Chinese Taipei to give the delegation their first taekwondo gold of the games


NAPOLI, July 12 - Park Inho upset Kazakhstan's Smaiyl Duisebay, the number-one seed in the men's under-87 kilos category, as South Korea grabbed their seventh Taekwondo gold medal at the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade on Friday.

 Park Inho (above) took the first two points in a cagey opening round to the gold-medal bout. Duisebay was more aggressive in the second round and came close with some spectacular back-kick attempts before levelling the score from close range.


The fighters exchanged point-scoring punches to keep it tight. The Korean landed two punches early in the closing round and showed skill and composure as Duisebay battled furiously to land a head shot in the closing seconds to win 7-4.


Defeated semi-finalists Andres Beceiro Pizarro Suarez of Mexico and Russia's Rafael Kamalov both took bronze.


Iran also continued their strong showing, with Soroush Ahmadi claiming their fourth gold in Taekwondo, although Niyaz Pulatov of Uzbekistan made him work very hard for it in the men's under-63 kilos division. Defense dominated in the first round, which ended 0-0.


Ahmadi, ranked fourth in the world, went ahead in the second with a big turn kick to the head, but Pulatov weathered the storm and pulled the score back to 3-2. The Iranian came forward again in the final round and was 10-5 up thanks to a turning kick and some fine punches.


But Pulatov then he produced a splendid spinning kick to the trunk to level the score at 10-10 and force a golden round. Ahmadi was not to be denied though an kicked his way to gold within seconds in the deciding period.


China's Wu Yichao and France's Dylan Chellamootoo were the bronze modellists. 


Su Po-Ya gave Chinese Taipei their first Taekwondo gold of the games with victory over South Korea's Ha Minah in the women's under-53 kilos category. Things were tight until the final round in this clash too. But Su was rewarded for her aggressive approach and pulled away to win 10-4. The bronzes went to Latvian Inese Tarvida and Patimat Abakarova of Azerbaijan.


The Taekwondo tournament at the Universiade concludes with Saturday's team competition.


 Paul Virgo @ ANSA


NAPOLI, 11 July – The fifth competition day of taekwondo at the Palazzetto dello Sports centre had a packed schedule as the women were competing in two weight categories 57-62kg and 67-73kg, while men tested their skills in the 68-74kg category. The gold medals in both women’s divisions were won by Turkey and Amirmohammad Bakhshikalhori from Iran won the men’s event.


Team spirit abounded inside the arena, with delegations cheering on their teammates from only a few metres away from the tatami. Thanks to the round shape of the arena, everyone had an excellent view and could observe all that was taking place on all three mats.

The competition traditionally started with preliminary rounds in the morning. The women’s round of 16 in the under 73kg delivered a spectacular battle. Just five seconds before the end of the third round, Yanna Schneider from Germany managed to level her score to the ten points of Dohee Yoon from South Korea. Having led that battle in points, Yoon used those last three seconds to score one more point and moved to the quarterfinals.


In the women's under 62kg quarterfinals, Barbara Dias Novaes from Brazil was losing by one point when only five seconds were left. An exchange of rapid strikes in the last two seconds changed the situation and helped Barbara advance to the semifinals.


The battle between Russia's Iuliia Turutina and Mexico's Anel Vaitiare Felix Perez was extraordinary. Both athletes were rather reserved in the first two rounds waiting for the opponent to attack. The third round became more aggressive even as the 1-1 score forced one more round. Even in the fourth additional session, there was no clear winner and a review of the number of attacks made by both athletes finally decided that Turutina deserved a place in the semifinals.


The men’s quarterfinal match between Victor Asp from Norway and Ke Ren from China was riveting too. Within just five seconds, both athletes leaped to more than ten points after a series of rapid shots. Towards the end, Ren knew he was losing and went big on the offensive. Asp responded with immediate counter-attacks and increased his advantage. He advanced to the semifinals to fight against Soufiane Elasbi from Morocco and then to the final, against Bakhshikalhori of Iran. He ran out of steam, and luck, in the final.

Later Asp explained, “I was a bit tired. I think if the fight had been earlier, I would have had more energy and done better.”


It was an interesting semifinal between France’s Marie-Paule Ble and Turkey’s Nafia Kus in the under 73kg category. As both were even at the end of three rounds, a decisive kick to the trunk in the additional fourth round helped Kus move to the final battle.


Bronze medallist Marie-Paule Ble said, “I am very disappointed about having lost this match. Sadly, I was injured in this competition. I tried to do my best, but I did not succeed. I am happy though about taking the third place before going on a holiday.”


Nafia Kus (left) fought Dohee Yoon from South Korea for the gold medal. While no points were scored in the first three rounds, an accurate strike from Kus was enough to seal gold.


“I am so happy about this medal,” she said. “My next target is to become an Olympic champion.”


Russia’s Iuliia Turutina who lost to Turkey’s Irem Yaman in the under 62kg category final later said “I can’t say I feel very happy about winning the silver medal because my aim was to take gold. I think I made a mistake in the first round as my standing position was not very comfortable.”


She hopes to achieve better results with her team as she says team spirit makes people stronger.Irem Yaman on the other hand, was very happy about her victory. “It is my second time this year that I have become a champion of at a world level.” She has previously won two World Championships, in 2015 and 2019. “The most important thing for me is to become an Olympic champion next year.”


There will be two more days of action in taekwondo. On 12 July, the last round of individual fights will take place featuring men in weight categories 80-87kg and 58-63kg. Women will compete in the weight category under 53kg. On Saturday the competition will conclude with the teams’ Kyorugi.


Men -74kg

Gold: Amirmohammad Bakhshikalhori (IRI)

Silver: Victor Asp (NOR)

Bronze: Soufiane Elasbi (MAR)

Bronze: Júlio Ferreira (POR)


Women -73kg

Gold: Nafia Kuş (TUR)

Silver: Dohee Yoon (KOR)

Bronze: Marie-Paule Ble (FRA)

Bronze: Melika Mirhosseini Vakili (IRI)


Women -62kg

Gold: Irem Yaman (TUR)

Silver: Iuliia Turutina (RUS)

Bronze: Bruna Vuletić (CRO)

Bronze: Bárbara Dias Novaes (BRA)


9 July 

NAPOLI, Italy - On the third day of competitions in taekwondo, the Palazzetto dello Sports arena was full of action and drama from early morning onwards. After the peaceful artistic performances in the past two days that portrayed traditional patterns of taekwondo, overnight the stage was transformed to offer three mats for individual battles.

Men competed in weight categories under 68kg and 80kg while women contested medals in the weight category under 57kg. The team spirit inside the hall was incredibly strong as national delegations supported their teams with passion and heart.


The preliminary and elimination rounds brought up some interesting fights and the highest number of participants were registered in the men’s category - 68kg.


The fight between Ukrainian Dmytro Govorun and Italian Simone Crescenzi in the round of 32 was remarkable. Trailing at the beginning, the Italian later pushed his opponent into an additional round. After a decisive strike to the head, Simone then moved one step closer to the finals.


Another spectacular battle was between Roberto Botta and Achraf Mahmoubi in the round of 16, which the Moroccan won in the end, despite the loud vocal home crowd support for Botta.


In the men’s -68kg semifinals, Iran’s Mirhashem Hosseini had Korea’s Kyungdeok Kim down on the floor with some solid attacking. In pain, Kim fought back but Hosseini expanded the gap with precise spinning kicks. He advanced to the finals to face Mohamed Si Ketbi from Belgium.


In the -80kg category semifinals, Egypt’s Seif Eissa created an early six-point lead and took the victory over Wei-Ting Liu from Chinese Taipei. He would compete for gold against Minwoo Kang of South Korea.


In the women's -57kg event too, the fights were intense starting from the preliminary rounds. Yujin Kim knocked out athletes from Russia and Iran in her first two matches to meet Patrycja Adamkiewicz from Poland in the semifinals. Thanks to her strong defensive skills, she advanced to the final battle.


Pressure built up in the afternoon, as the final fights could decide a spot at the Olympic Games 2020.


In the men’s -68kg, Mirhashem Hosseini led from the start, with a score of 12-0 soon over Mohamed Ketbi. The Belgian athlete earned his first points only 1.5 minutes before the end of the third round. The Iranian won convincingly, 20-3, and celebrated his victory with his national flag.


Also a winner at Taipei 2017, Hosseini later told FISU, “The level and quality of the competition is very high. I had strong motivation today. My aim is to go to the Olympic Games next year and win a gold medal.” 

The women's -57kg final was also one sided as after the second round, Yujin Kim was already leading 12-0 over Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Chuang Chen. Chen earned her 2 points at the end of the match.


Patrycja Adamkiewicz, who won bronze, commented on her performance. “I am very happy about my bronze medal. Today I fought four fights, but the hardest one was the match for the medal and also the match in the first round against the athlete from Mexico. It took me additional effort to move further in the draw.” Patrycja will also compete in the team event which start later this week.


On Wednesday, July 10, women will fight for individual medals in weight categories 46-49kg and 62-67kg. Men will compete in weight category 54-58kg. After the following two days of fights in other weight categories, the competition in taekwondo will conclude on July 13 with team’s Kyorugi presented by women and men.  



Men -68kg

Gold: Mirhashem Hosseini (Iran)

Silver: Mohamed Ketbi Si (Belgium)

Bronze: Kyungdeok Kim (South Korea)

Bronze: Sergey Vardazaryan (Armenia)


Men -80kg

Gold: Minwoo Kang (South Korea)

Silver: Seif Eissa (Egypt)

Bronze:Wei-Ting Liu (Chinese Taipei)

Bronze: Denys Voronovskyi (Ukraine)


Women -57kg

Gold: Yujin Kim (South Korea)

Silver: Yu-Chuang Chen (Chinese Taipei)

Bronze: Patrycja Adamkiewicz (Poland)

Bronze: Fernanda Aguirre Ramirez (Chile)

8 July

NAPOLI, Italy – The second day of taekwondo started with the men’s and women’s semifinals in team poomsae and mixed pairs poomsae. The sun shone brightly through the glass roof of the Palazzetto dello Sport centre, filling the hall with natural daylight. The athletes competed in challenging conditions as the temperature inside the arena soared.

After the second competition day in taekwondo, South Korea won all gold medals of all events that took place on Monday. Chinese Taipei took all the silver medals that were on offer, in all three categories of poomsae. Iran won bronze in men’s team event, Thailand in the women’s team event and Mexico in the pair’s event.


Thirteen men’s teams entered the stage in the afternoon to display synchronised actions with striking energy. They performed koryo followed by keumgang. Team Korea, the winner of team poomsae at Taipei 2017, was outstanding on the mat. The trio showed delightful speed and stability. Their score of 7.866 moved them to the top position when four teams were still awaiting the entry.


The Iranian team that had a third-place winner in individual poomsae presented an excellent range of movements and was very accurate. Their second pattern helped them outperform South Korea and advance to the final in the first position.


Later on, pairs from 18 countries displayed their skills in keumgang and taebaek. Being the first one to present, the duet from South Korea set a high standard for all the others. Precise side hicks and great techniques allowed them to score impressive 7.749 points. The pair from Chinese Taipei was able to get close to that score (7.483) having demonstrated beautiful angles in sidekicks. A disconnect in synchronisation between the athletes from China ruined all their hopes of getting a place in the final. Germany again qualified for the finals in the eighth position.

In the men’s team finals, the athletes were starting in reverse order. Every country was delivering a higher score than its predecessor. The German men’s team was able to slightly improve the semifinal score and finished in seventh place.


Steven Behn from the German team later said “It was cool to be in the final. We were happy to be on the stage and show our freestyle because it is our specialty. The atmosphere was amazing."


After the first traditional pattern of taebaek, Iran was leading in the ranking. A small mistake in the freestyle pattern decreased their final score to 7.460 and moved them to third place. It was then the moment for South Korea to celebrate their gold. The trio was in perfect unison and performed impressive acrobatics. Chinese Taipei won silver.


Team member Cheng-Gang Li told FISU, “I am thankful to my teammates for everything. In the past I had an injury but together we managed to get a silver medal.”

The women’s team from South Korea was the only team that achieved a score higher than seven. One of the athletes had to use her hands to balance after the last piece of acrobatics. Despite that, they still had a large gap and finish with impressive 7.240 points. The delegation from Thailand had only three athletes and took their chance to compete in women’s and pairs’ poomsae.


P. Phaisankiattikun, who had to undergo a surgery just one week earlier said she was happy she decided to compete. "I always think about my team," she said. "The injury could not stop me from supporting my teammates. I am happy we used this chance and won bronze.”


Finally, the winner of two gold medals - in teams’ and pairs’ events - Yebin Hwang shared her emotions with FISU. “I find it difficult to express with words how happy I am. I am now confused and cannot say if it is a dream or reality that has just happened to me.”


Tomorrow, on July 9, men will be competing in weight categories 63-68kg and 74-80 kg, while women will fight for medals in the weight category 53-57 kg. It will be the first day when athletes will be facing opponents from other countries. The competition will start in the early morning with preliminary rounds that will define the best participants for semifinals and finals. Two days later, there will be competitions in higher weight categories.



Team Poomsae (Men)

Gold: South Korea (7.820)

Silver: Chinese Taipei (7.480)

Bronze: Islamic Republic of Iran (7.460)


Team Poomsae (Women)

Gold: South Korea (7.240)

Silver: Chinese Taipei (6.930)

Bronze: Thailand (6.780)


Mixed Pair Poomsae

Gold: South Korea (7.630)

Silver: Chinese Taipei (7.450)

Bronze: Mexico (7.300)


7 July

NAPOLI, Italy - The Palazzetto dello Sport centre welcomed the first competitions in taekwondo on Sunday, in individual poomsae. The venue is located in Casoria and features an impressive round roof made of thousands of metal bars and a glass window in the centre.


Both, the men’s and women’s event produced dramatic finals in which the gold medallist was not clear until near the end. Adalis Munoz from the USA was nervous until she learnt she had won gold. Silver went to Chia-En Su from Chinese Taipei, and bronze was taken by Jihye Yun from South Korea and Fatemeh Hesam from Iran.


In the men’s event the ranking changed many times over the day. The finals saw Wanjin Kang from South Korea finish in the first position. The second place was taken by Edward H Jeong from the USA, the third place was shared by Iranian Koorosh Bakhtiyar and Mexican Leonardo Juarez Rodriguez.


The route to the medals lasted the whole day. Athletes went through a 2-hour preliminary round in the morning to get a chance to compete in the semi-finals. The absolute leader in the first round was Wanjin Kang. His hand and foot techniques helped him score an outstanding 8.183. Close behind him was Cheng-Gang Li from Chinese Taipei who performed well to get 7.983. The third best result was achieved by Koorosh Bakhtiyar (7.916).


The preliminary rounds continued in the women’s poomsae as well. Sakuna Laosungnoen from Thailand stayed in the third position throughout the session with her 7.799 points. Raquel Guillen Sanchez’s routine was evaluated with 7.932 points that placed her in the second position. Iranian Fatemeh Hesam who was the last one to enter the stage put in the best performance and moved to the top with 7.966.


In the afternoon, as attention switched to semi-finalists, fourteen best male qualifiers showed their routines consisting of koryo and keumgang. An energetic performance from Edward H Jeong (right) earned him a score of 7.810 and helped him advance to the final in second spot. Wanjin Kang, coming to the semi-finals as a top qualifier, delivered an enjoyable performance with calmness and beautiful extensions on the side kicks.


The real drama though, was reserved for the finals. Excitement was building in the stands as in addition to the traditional pattern of Taebaek, the eight female finalists were performing freestyle routines. Stepping out third for the finals, Adalis Munoz set a high standard. She remained on the top of the rankings, as she waited nervously until the last athlete competed.


After winning gold, she said to FISU “This event was a struggle for me from the very beginning. I am happy that I was able to make it this far and win gold. It was important to find the right balance mentally.”


Korean Jihye Yun was expected to be among the medals. Even though she made a small error while landing during her last element in the freestyle pattern, she claimed bronze. Later she said, “I felt very confident when I was doing the traditional patterns. In freestyle, I slipped with my hands and felt quite unsure in that moment. I really wanted to finish strong and I did my best.”


As for the men’s finals, the men were demonstrating Pyongwong and freestyles. Silver medalist Edward H Jeong said to FISU, “I was very nervous. During the first round, I was not performing my best and it got to me. After thinking about it for a while I told myself that I just had to let myself enjoy that moment and leave everything on the mat and have no regrets. My coach and me are very satisfied with what I did.”


Gold medallist Wanjin Kang has already set himself a new goal. “I will focus on the competition tomorrow and will try to do better than today,” he said.


Tomorrow, on July 8, medals will be awarded to athletes competing in team poomsae and mixed pairs poomsae. Monday will open up with competitions in six men’s and six women’s divisions in Kyorugi. In total, there will be seven competition days in taekwondo in Napoli, that end on July 13.


Individual Poomsae (Men)

Gold: Wanjin Kang (KOR) (7.950)

Silver: Edward H Jeong (USA) (7.500)

Bronze: Koorosh Bakhtiyar (IRI) (7.310)

Bronze: Leonardo Juarez Rodriguez (MEX) (7.120)


Individual Poomsae (Women)

Gold: Adalis J Munoz (USA) (7.060)

Silver: Chia-En SU (TPE) (6.990)

Bronze: Jihye Yun (KOR) (6.920)

Bronze: Fatemeh Hesam (IRI) (6.910)