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Chelyabinsk 2015 – Day 7: Iran takes 3rd gold, Turkey 2nd as Belgium and Japan win 1st

Chelyabinsk 2015 – Day 7: Iran takes 3rd gold, Turkey 2nd as Belgium and Japan win 1st

Overall report
After the seventh day of action was completed at Traktor Arena, Korea finished on top of the Male’s medal count with 3 golds and Iran reached the top of the Women’s one with 3 titles. In the overall standings, Korea dominated with a total of 4 titles, followed by Iran with 3
Day 7
Iran clinched its third title and Turkey took its second as Japan and Belgium won their first gold medal at Chelyabinsk 2015 World Championships closing day. Khobadakhshi (IRI) clearly proved to be strongest athlete in Men’s -80 kg, Irem Yaman (TUR) became the new Women’s -62 kg champion, Mayu Hamada tasted glory in Women’s -57 kg and Jaouad Achab, Belgian but competing under the WTF flag due to his national federation’s ban, climbed to the top of the podium in Men’s -63 kg.
Spain managed to qualify no less than 3 athletes for the final session, but had to content with 3 silver medals. The other silver was taken by Damon Sansum (GBR). The bronze medals were awarded to Belanouskaya (BLR), Booth (GBR), Kotsis (HUN), Alizadeh (IRI), Gutierrez (MEX), Yaghoubi (IRI), Cook (MDA) and Guelec (GER).
Final Podiums
Women’s -62 kg
1 – Irem Yaman (TUR)
2 – Marta Calvo (ESP)
3 – Belanouskaya (BLR)
3 – Rachel Booth (GBR)
Women’s -57 kg
1 – Mayu Hamada (JPN)
2 – Eva Calvo (ESP)
3 – Edina Kotsis (HUN)
3 – Kimia Alizadeh (IRI)
Men’s -63 kg
1 – Jaouad Achab (BEL)
2 – Joel Gonzalez (ESP)
3 – Saul Gutierrez (MEX)
3 – Abolfazl Yaghoubi (IRI)
Men’s -80 kg
1 – Mahdi Khobadakhshi (IRI)
2 – Damon Sansum (TUR)
3 – Aaron Cook (MDA)
3 – Tahir Guelec (GER)
Evening session
Semi-finals
Women’s -57 kg
World number 4 Mayu Hamada was the first finalist of day after proving to be better than Alizadeh (IRI), who had defeated the Olympic champion Jade Jones in her previous match. Hamada was down on the scoreboard 1-0 and 2-1 when the fight was still in the second period, but was able to punish Alizadeh in the final 2 minutes, scoring 3 consecutive points through body kicks that gave her a 5-2 win to jump into the big final.
World number 2 Eva Calvo (ESP) showed again her solid Taekwondo style against Kotsis (HUN) to win the second semi-final by 4-2 and fight for the gold against Hamada in the crucial match. The first period finished with a draw to 1, but Calvo took the control of the clash in the second, when she landed her right foot on Kotsis’ body twice to take a 3-1 advantage. 2 points down to Calvo is a hard job to recover, and the Hungarian couldn’t do anything to turn the scoreboard around. In the end, 4-2 for the Spaniard.
Women’s -62 kg
Irem Yaman (TUR) left no chance for surprise in her match against number 57 in the world Belanouskaya (BLR), making her way to the final by 9-0. The Turkish was always in control of the fight, leading by 3-0 at the end of the first round, an advantage who she managed to rise up to 4 in the next 2 minutes. In the final round, with Belanouskaya trying to score her first point in a desperate way, the Turkish was able to score 5 more points to finish it 9-0. A great performance by the world number 16, who will significantly go up on the ranking next month.
Eva Calvo’s sister, Marta (ESP), was the second Spanish athlete to make the final after denying most of Rachel Booth’s (GBR) attacks to win the second semi-final by 6-4. Calvo started really strong and connected a spinning body kick that gave her a 3-1 lead which was eventually decisive. Since that moment, the Spaniard focused on her defense, as Booth seemed really dangerous with her left leg. And it was a successful strategy for Calvo, who took advantage of Booth’s late attacks to rise her count to 6. She was then punished with some kyongos, with the final score being 6-4.
Men’s -63 kg
World number 1 and reigning European champion Jaouad Achab, with Belgian nationality but competing as an independent athlete, got rid of Yaghoubi (IRI) by 9-7 to reach another final in a major event. Although the first round was nothing more than a test, with none of the athletes scoring a single point, the rest of the fight was really enjoyable to watch. In the second period, both fighters performed a hitting exchange that finished with Achab 4-3 ahead on the scoreboard. But the best was coming after, as the last 2 minutes were full of action, including an extraordinary head kick by Achab. In the end, 9-7 for the Belgian.
Reigning Olympic champion Joel González (ESP) always gives his best when the situation looks bad for him. The semi-final against Mexican Saúl Gutiérrez was another example of the Spaniard’s cold blood. Gonzalez was 1-0 down at the end of the first round and was able to tie the match to 1. In the second period, both athletes managed to score 1 point, so 2-2 with only 2 minutes left. Time for the final round, with Gutierrez taking a 5-2 with only 5 seconds to go, when Joel connected a spinning body kick to tie to 5. In the sudden death period, the Spaniard kept calm and waited for the moment to come. With only 6 seconds left, he found a crack on the Mexican’s wall to connect a body kick and jump into the final.
Men’s -80 kg
The first semi-final of the division was the best fight of the event, with Damon Sansum (GBR) and Aaron Cook (MDA) fighting for the first time since Cook joined Moldova. And the victory was taken by the British, who scored just after 2 seconds in the overtime after the 6 minutes ended with 13-13. Sansum was the athlete to be ahead of the fight for the most time, finishing 4-2 up at the end of the 1st round and 8-7 after 4 minutes, but Cook resisted and was able to tie the match to 13 thanks to a brave performance. Both athletes exchanged any possible Taekwondo action you can imagine against each other. A truly enjoyable act.
World number 2 Mahdi Khodabakhshi (IRI) took control of Traktor Arena’s central court to tell everyone he deserved a place in the big finala against Sansum. He set the pace of the fight against Tahir Guelec (GER) and stayed always ahead of the German to go trough by 8-5. Guelec tried to comeback in the final minutes, but the Iranian know how to manage this situations and secured a comfortable access to the crucial fight.
Finals
Women’s -57 kg
Mayu Hamada became the new world champion after defeating world number 2 Eva Calvo by 5-3 in an equal match decided by a spectacular head kick from the Japanese in the last second of the second round. That action gave the Asian a 5-1 lead that was impossible tu overcome for Calvo, even though the Spaniard tried everything she had. Hamada’s dodging was impressive and let her manage the advantage in a safe way until the end.
Men’s -62kg
Eva’s sister, Marta, couldn’t taste gold either, as she was beaten by the Turkish Irem Yaman by a clear 14-4 in the second final of the day. Calvo managed to get an early lead thanks to a body kick, finshing 1-0 ahead at the end of the first round. The spaniard even tied the match to 4 when the second round was about to finish, but the action who gave her the 4-4 tie was also the one who punished her. Yaman took advantage of Calvo’s position and touched her head with the righ foot. A 7-4 lead which she extended to 14-4 due to the Spaniard’s desperate attempts to score.
Men’s -63 kg
Belgian Jaouad Achab handled the pressure just fine and was able to beat the current Olympic champion Joel Gonzalez (ESP) by 7-6 in a really close final. The first round had not much action, finishing without any points on the scoreboard. And the second one was not much different, as Jouad was the only one to connect a scoring action through a body kick to lead 1-0 with only 2 minutes to go. In the final round, Achab reached a 2-0 advantage, just when Joel scored his first point of the match. But by scoring, he left a crack on his defense, allowing the Belgian to score 3 points by hitting his head. Since then, the Spaniard tried everything to turn the score around, but Achab was clever enough to stay 1 point ahead.
Men’s -80 kg
Mahdi Khobadakhshi offered a sensational performance, probably the best in the event, to take the Men’s -80 kg title in front of Damon Sansum (GBR), beating the British by 16-3 with still 1 minute and 58 seconds to play. The Iranian left no chance for Sansum to get into the match, obtaining a 7-1 lead at the end of the first period and extending it to 13-3 when finishing the second. After connecting two successful head kicks in the first two rounds, the Iranian just needed two seconds in the final round to hit Sansum’s head for the third time and touch the golden glory.
Pau Aguilar, Chelyabinsk
WTM

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