Antalya 2019 World Para-Taekwondo Champs – Day 2: Mongolia, Brazil and Mexico taste gold
8th World Para-Taekwondo Championships
5-6 February 2019
Complete Results: Day 1
Day two at the world para-taekwondo championships was highlighted by unexpected world titles for Mexico’s Juan Diego Garcia Lopes in the men’s middleweight division (up to 75 kg) and Brazil’s Debora Menezes in the women’s heavyweight (over 58 kg) division.
The victories mark the arrival of the Americas as legitimate contenders for Paralympic gold when Para taekwondo makes its debut at next summer’s Paralympic Games. It also offers a tantalizing taste of this summer’s Parapan Am Games.
Ranked No. 6 in the world coming into the world para-taekwondo championships, Garcia Lopes bested a record 39 other competitors in the difficult men’s middleweight division, capping it with a confident 8-4 victory of Russia’s No. 3-ranked Magomedzagir Isalibirov.
“It was difficult to deal with the techniques from the new athletes”, he said. “They were quite a surprise”.
The Mexican federation is elated with the unexpected win.
“The [Mexican federation] President is very happy with Juan’s win”, said team chair Veronica Sanatana Rangel. “He’s just shocked. Just wow.”
Brazil’s No. 8-ranked Debora Menezes felt much the same way after capturing Brazil’s first Para taekwondo world title with a clinical 7-3 win over Uzbekistan’s No. 4-ranked Guljonoy Naimova.
“I can’t find words to express how it feels”, she said after her win. “I just want to share this with all the people working with me from the beginning.”
The result puts her right back into contention to qualify for next summer’s Paralympic Games.
But it almost didn’t happen. She needed a last-second score to squeeze past Nepal’s Palesha Goverdhan in her first fight – “I almost didn’t make history”, she recalls – and a little help on the other side of the bracket.
More shock upsets
After a stunning day one, more of the sport’s most accomplished athletes fell early on Wednesday.
None was more shocking than Iran’s Mahdi Pourrahnama’s Round of 16 exit in the men’s middleweight division to Japan’s Shunsuke Kudo. Pourrahnama had lost only one fight in the last eight years and had won four straight world titles before falling in Turkey.
Later, Great Britain’s 2017 world champion Amy Truesdale failed to replicate teammate Matt Bush’s success from yesterday when was shocked in the quarterfinal by Japan’s Shoka Ota. She was leading with less than 10 seconds to go in the fight before the setback.
“I just needed to finish it off”, she said later. “But my congratulations to Debora [Menezes] on a well-earned victory [in the gold medal match].”
Rise of Japan
Japan proved that it is more than ready to host the inaugural Paralympic Para taekwondo competition next summer – they showed they plan to compete.
Both Shunsuke Kudo in the men’s middleweight and Shoka Ota in the women’s heavyweight divisions shocked the world’s No. 1 seeds in their divisions with stunning golden point victories. Both went on to win bronze medals.
Japan had a single fighter at the last world championships. They sported a full team in Turkey, including coaches, managers, and support staff.
The emergence of Japan is remarkable – both Kudo and Ota picked up the sport only recently.
Kudo lost his hand just a couple of years ago and picked up the sport just last year. Ota started in 2016, well after Para taekwondo was named a Paralympic sport.
Both are now world championship medallists.
Favorites Follow Through
There was a bit more predictability on Wednesday, especially in the men’s lightweight divisions.
Mongolia’s No. 1-ranked Bolor-Erdene Ganbat won his fourth straight world title after getting by Russia’s No. 3-ranked Daniil Sidorov in an entertaining final.
He topped the biggest division in Para taekwondo history, with 43 fighters trying to topple the Mongolian legend. None came closer than Turkey’s No. 6-ranked Ali Can Ozcan, who rallied from 20 points down in the semifinal before falling 40-37 in what will surely be one of the best fights of the year.
On the K43 side, France’s Bopha Kong breezed through the division to pick up his fourth world title – and first since 2015.
“We trained very hard for this”, said Kong. “It was important to not leave again without the gold medal [like in 2017].”
But there is always more work.
“Tomorrow morning, we train at 6:00 am”, says coach Oury Sztantman with a smile. “Well, maybe on Friday.”
Day 1 – Report
Great Britain and Russia were the only two countries to taste gold in more than one occasion after the first day of action was completed at Antalya 2019 World Para-Taekwondo Championships. Both nations collected a total of 2 gold medals, but Russia took the first place on the medal count thanks to grabbing 3 silvers and 1 bronze as well, while Great Britain managed to add just 1 silver to its collection.
The golden heroes for Russia on Tuesday were: Andrey Grabovskii, who reigned in Men’s P32, and Valentin Kondratenko, who proved to be the best in Men’s P33. On the other hand, the British golden fighters were: Bradley Brockies, who reached the top of the Men’s Junior podium, and Samantha Carringt, who shone over the rest of competitors in Women’s P33.
The other teams to clinch a title on Tuesday action were: Turkey, Croatia, Belarus, Colombia, Australia, Morocco, Germany, Chile, Puerto Rico and Ecuador.
Written by IPC Volunteer writer Lee Reaney
Photos by Bogachan Karasu and Tetyana Kushch
Day 1 – Final Podiums
Male Under 30
1 ECU Ecuador Edison CHIGUANO 2019.02.05
2 MEX Mexico Alejandro GUTIERREZ 2019.02.05
3 ITA Italy Cianciotto MICHELE 2019.02.05
3 RUS Russian Federation Kirill ARUTIUNOV 2019.02.05
Female Under 30
1 CHI Chile Paloma MARTINEZ 2019.02.05
2 TUR Turkey Sibel KOLUMAN 2019.02.05
3 RUS Russian Federation Elizaveta POPOVA 2019.02.05
3 BEL Belgium Melissa ENGELS 2019.02.05
Male Over 30
1 GER Germany Christopher FROEMMGEN 2019.02.05
2 HON Honduras Guillermo ERAZO SCHAUER 2019.02.05
3 POL Poland Mariusz MAKA 2019.02.05
3 CRO Croatia Mario KOMORCEC
Female Over 30
1 COL Colombia Jhormary ROJAS 2019.02.05
2 POL Poland Agnieszka KMIEC 2019.02.05
3 CRO Croatia Biserka SAMBOL 2019.02.05
3 POL Poland Anna SIWKO 2019.02.05
1 GBR Great Britain Bradley BROCKIES 2019.02.05
2 GBR Great Britain Kieran WROE 2019.02.05
3 SVK Slovakia Tomas MRAVEC 2019.02.05
3 TUR Turkey Yasir YAVUZ 2019.02.05
1 TUR Turkey Fatima Kevser KIDEYS 2019.02.05
2 TUR Turkey Elif Su PEKGOZ 2019.02.05
3 BEL Belgium Hasna BEN AYAD 2019.02.05
Male – P31
1 MAR Morocco Khandoouch AYOUB 2019.02.05
2 RUS Russian Federation Andrei TITOV 2019.02.05
3 KAZ Kazakhstan Karen OVSEPYAN 2019.02.05
Female – P31
1 PUR Puerto Rico Xiomara ROBLES 2019.02.05
2 RUS Russian Federation Stefanida STRIUKOVA 2019.02.05
3 UKR Ukraine Inna TROKHYMENKO 2019.02.05
Male – P32
1 RUS Russian Federation Andrei GRABOVSKII 2019.02.05
2 ITA Italy Riccardo ZIMMERMAN 2019.02.05
3 CRO Croatia Domagoj VUJCIC 2019.02.05
3 NEP Nepal Bikram SHRESTHA 2019.02.0
Female – P32
1 CRO Croatia Senada HALILCEVIC 2019.02.05
Male – P33
1 RUS Russian Federation Valentin KONDRATENKO 2019.02.05
2 RUS Russian Federation Igor GAFUROV 2019.02.05
3 ITA Italy Giovanni SUNSERI 2019.02.05
3 TUR Turkey Fahrettin KARABAG 2019.02.05
Female – P33
1 GBR Great Britain Samantha CARRINGT 2019.02.05
2 USA United States of America Iris FUENTES 2019.02.05
Male – P34
1 BLR Belarus Aliaksandr DANILIUK 2019.02.05
Female – P34
1 AUS Australia Janine WATSON 2019.02.05
2 CZE Czech Republic Lenka SIMECKOVA 2019.02.05
3 UKR Ukraine Ivanna TSAPTSINA 2019.02.05
3 CRO Croatia Senada HALILCEVIC 2019.02.0