Taekwondo at Tokyo: Day 3

Another amazing day for Europe at the third day of the Olympic Tournament in Tokyo!

On the third day, male under 80 kg and female under 67 kg athletes made their appearances. With 3 European athletes in the final round and 2 athletes reaching the bronze medal contest, European athletes cashed 4 Olympic medals, totaling Europe’s medals to the marvelous number of 13! Nur Tatar (TUR) and Magda Wiet-Henin (FRA) were favorites for the medals but could not proceed to the following rounds. Also, Simone Alessio (ITA) and Milad Beigi Harshegani (AZE) were unable to reach the next stages of the tournament.

Norway’s Richard Ordemann met in the first round the later silver medalist Elsharabaty (JOR) and was defeated by only one point (5:4). As Elsharabaty proceeded to the finals, Richard got a second chance in the repechage phase where he met Moroccan Mahboubi. Richard won this fight with strong numbers: 25:10. In the bronze medal contest, Richard faced off against Egypt’s Seif Eissa. Unfortunately, Richard could not continue his strong performance and lost this fight with 12:4.

Toni Kanaet started off with a win over Martinez from Spain (21:15) and met in the second round Maksim Khramtcov. It turned out that Maksim was a size too big for Toni as the fight ended in 22:0. Toni proceeded to the repechage phase, as Maksim entered the final round. There he met Sawadogo from Burkina Faso who was defeated by 30:10. In the bronze medal contest, Toni met with Uzbeki Rafalovich. In the first round, the two athletes turned out equally strong (6:6) but in the second round, Toni took the lead: 15:8. In the last and final round, Rafalovich became dangerous, but the head start Toni had built up was not compromised. Olympic bronze for Toni Kanaet from Croatia!

Team GB had Lauren Williams at the start of third competition day. Lauren started strong against Tonga with a 11:0 win. Hedaya Wahba from Egypt, who defeated Magda Wiet-Henin in the first round, turned out to be a tough opponent. Lauren defeated her with a narrow margin of 13:12. In the semifinals, Lauren met Ruth Gbagbi from Ivory Coast. Lauren showed she was in a winning mode and defeated Ruth with great numbers: 24:18! In the gold medal contest, it was Croatia’s Matea Jelic who was waiting to fight for the gold medal!

Matea Jelic started her Olympic journey with an impressive 22:2 win over Haiti’s Lauren Lee. In the quarter final Matea took care of Milena Titoneli from Brazil and scored another massive win 30:9! Paige McPherson from the USA could not find the right fighting mode against Matea in the semifinals and Matea made sure it was Croatia who proceeded to the finals. Score 15:4!

Lauren Williams (GBR) was waiting in the finals and Matea and Lauren turned out the be equal opponents. After the first round Lauren was leading with 5:4 and in the second round, Matea was leading with 6:5. Total score after 2 rounds 10:10! The last and final round turned out to be decisive and extremely exciting. After 1 minute in the third round, Lauren was leading. Matea came back strong and scored a head kick in with 9 seconds left on the clock. Score 21:21! Lauren was not able to score and was penalized with 1 gam-jeom. Matea scored with a kick to the body: 24:21 for Matea. Both Lauren and Matea took a gam-jeom in the last seconds but it could not make any difference: Olympic gold medal was for Matea Jelic from Croatia!

Russia’s Maksim Khramtcov made no mistake in his Olympic journey! From the beginning he turned out to be the strongest opponent in each fight! First, he defeated Sawadogo from Burkina Faso with 13:6. Second, he gave no chance whatsoever to Croatia’s Toni Kanaet. Score: 22:0! In the semifinals, Egyptian Seif Eissa had no chance either. He sent Seif to the bronze medal contest by defeating him with 13:1. In the final, Maksim met Jordan’s Elshabaraty. Maksim to the lead in the first round and gave Elshabaraty no chance to score: 5:0. In the second round, he kept the lead but Elshabaraty scored one point as well: 7:1. In the third round, Elshabaraty scored 8 points but Maksim’s Olympic gold medal was never in danger. He scored 13 points, totaling on 20:9! Maksim Khramtcov wins the Olympic gold medal on this third competition day in Tokyo!

After 3 days, Europe is leading the medal table with 3 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals. Asia is following with 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. Pan America follows with 1 gold and Africa with 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.