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Iran's Karami gives up gold medal

?? Yousef Karami, Ramin Azizov, Mauro Sarmiento.(from left)

The third day of competition at the World Qualification Tournament in Baku started rather tensely, as one of the first matches of the day was between Steven Lopez (USA) and Iran’s Yousef Karami.

Both athletes, who have an impressive resume of world champion titles and Olympic medals, started their match showing their power and technique. Lopez moved forward in the scoreboard yet Karami was fast in following him. Unfortunately, Lopez gave his opponent a couple of points due to several gyeong-go’s, which were loudly booed by the Iranian and Azeri mass, and finally lost his chance to London as the match ended with only one point of difference (5-4).

Lopez is a triple Olympic medalist and a five-time world champion, whereas Karami got a bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and has been on the podium at four World Championships.

Karami kept moving upwards in the competition until the finals where he was supposed to meet Azerbaijan’s Ramin Azizov, who won against Olympic silver medalist Mauro Sarmiento (Italy). Sarmiento would then compete against Nicolas Garcia (Spain) for the third place, which he won in a rather even match.

However, Karami finally gave up his chance to achieve the gold medal as he withdrew from the final against Azizov.

The final results of male -80kg were as follows:

1) Ramin Azizov (AZE)

2) Yousef Karami (IRI)

3) Mauro Sarmiento (ITA)

<World Taekwon Media>

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