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Manchester 2013 Grand Prix – Day 1: Great Britain, Russia and Spain win first ever GP golds

Manchester 2013 Grand Prix – Day 1: Great Britain, Russia and Spain win first ever GP golds

WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Manchester 2013
Manchester, Great Britain
13-15 December 2013
Day 1 – Complete Results:
Women’s -49 kg

1 – Brigitte Yagüe (ESP)
2 – Sohui Kim (KOR)
3 – Yasmina Aziez (FRA)
3 – Zhao Yi Li (CHN)
Women’s +67 kg

1 – Olga Ivanova (RUS)
2 – Injong Lee (KOR)
3 – Reshmie Oogink (NED)
3 – Briseida Acosta (GBR)
Men’s +80 kg
1 – Mahama Cho (GBR)
2 – Gilherme Felix (BRA)
3 – Anthony Obame (GAB)
3 – Dongmin Cha (KOR)


Women’s -49 kg

The first Semifinal of the Manchester 2013 Grand Prix surprisingly ended up with no points in the score after the 3 rounds were played. Brigitte Yagüe, the 3-time world champion and Olympic silver medallist, and the Chinese Zhao Yi Li managed to block all the attacks during the first 6 minutes of their clash, leaving the crucial action for the extra period. With only 24 seconds to go, Yagüe connected a precise right chest kick that confirmed her access to the big final after being out of the official competitions since the London 2012 Olympics.
Her rival in the final was one of the Korean representatives, Sohui Kim, who got rid of Yasmina Aziez from France after a spectacular comeback. The score reflected a 5-1 lead for the French at the end of the second period, thanks to a fast head kick in the first 10 seconds of the clash. It looked like Aziez had both feets in the gold medal match, but in the last minute, Kim found the way to connect two consecutive 4 point actions (turnaround head kick) that turned the score into the final 11-5 for the Asian.

Brigitte Yagüe, 3-time World Champion, Olympic silver medallist and first ever -49 kg GP winner

Women’s +67 kg

The first Women’s +67 kg Semifinal was completely dominated by the Korean Injong Lee, who started the fight extremely focused and precise, achieving an early 7 point lead at the end of the 1st round against Briseida Acosta from Mexico. With such a significant advantage, the Asian giant athlete just needed to control the pace of the match to make her way to the final. She wasn’t able to score one more point, but allowed Acosta, silver medallist at Puebla 2013 World Championship, to score only 4 points in the two final rounds. 7-4 for Lee and second Korean representative in a final in the first day of competition.
Lee’s opponent for the gold ended up being Olga Ivanova from Russia, current World Champion, who proved to be at a higher level than the Dutch Reshmie Oogink, who had previously beaten the Olympic gold medallist, Milica Mandic (SRB) in the 2nd round. After struggling to make her way to the Semis in an extremely exciting combat against Epangue (11-10), Ivanova left no chances for the surprise. The first round finished 5-0, and the second one didn’t differ much, ending with 9-0 in the scoreboard. The final period showed a much more defensive and static version of the Russian, who conceded 3 points to Oogink after an excellent head kick by the Dutch, but Ivanova got back to work right after it to finish it 12-3.
Men’s +80 kg

The first Male Semifinal confronted Anthony Obame (GAB), current World Champion and silver Olympic medallist, and the Brazilian Gilherme Cezario Felix. Obame seemed to have the match under control, managing to score the first point of the clash at the end of the 2nd round thanks to the secong kyongo awarded to the Brazilian. The 1 point lead for the African remained stable until the last 10 seconds of the fight, which ended up being an absolute thriller. Felix tied the game with a powerful punch, and when all the spectators thought it was time for another extra period, the South American managed to find a crack on Obame’s defense to connect the winning chest kick (2-1).
Time for the local hope of the day. Mahama Cho (GBR) had already secured the first medal of the event for Great Britain, but wanted the gold. In front of him, the Korean Dongmin Cha, who wanted to be the 3rd Korean athlete of the day to reach a final. Both contestants felt the pressure in the first period, which ended without points in the scoreboard. Cho changed the pace of the fight with a head kick that needed the video replay to be confirmed, and that was exactly what the match needed. He scored two more points in the period, but the Korean wasn’t going to give up at all, managing to turn the score into a 6-5 lead at the end of the round. Cho had to react, and so he did, connecting 2 consecutive chest kicks to regain the lead (7-6). Cha was against the ropes with just 50 seconds left, as the local hero requested the video replay and asked for 3 more points after another head kick attempt. The judges refused it, but Cho connected 2 more precise head kicks right after to turn the score into 13-7. In the end, 14-7 for the British.

Women’s -49 kg

The great champion is back. Brigitte Yagüe became the first champion of the Grand Prix history after remaining out of the competition for more than 1 year, right after becoming Olympic medallist at London 2012. The Spaniard smashed the Korean Sohui Kim by 9-1 after performing an absolute masterclass of defensive skills in the first 2 rounds and taking advantage of Kim’s rush in the final period. Brigitte started with two quick chest kicks to finish the first round 2-0 up. Then contained all Kim’s efforts to finish the 2nd round 3-0 and connected a couple more chest kicks and a powerful heack kick to finish it 9-1 and taking a well deserved gold medal.
Women’s +67 kg

Olga Ivanova’s winning streak goes on, and after becoming World Champion at Puebla 2013, she beat the Korean Injong Lee to win the Women’s +67 kg inaugural Grand Prix. The Russian star seemed to have the fight always under control, but wasn’t able to score until there were only 20 seconds left in the 3rd round. Lee struggled during the whole fight, but managed to keep some chances until the very end, when Ivanova connected two consecutive chest kicks to gain a 2-0 lead with almost no time left. The Russian had 1 more kyongo to give, and so she used it to finish the final 2-1 up. One more gold medal for the Russian’s track record.

Olga Ivanova, current World Champion and GP gold medallist of the Women

Men’s +80 kg

The Men’s final of the day confronted the local hero, Mahama Cho, and the outsider of the draw, the Brazilian Gilherme Felix. Both athletes are not used to reach such advanced rounds of significant competitions, and felt the pressure and nerves at the beginning of the clash. The first round finished with 0-0, and not many more points were awarded in the second period, which finished 1-0 up for Felix thanks to a right chest kick at the very end of the time. Cho reacted quickly to level the score with a chest kick, but Felix gain another 1 point lead instantly after. The Brazilian almost had the gold in his hands, but a second kyongo with only 4 seconds left led the match to the sudden death period. In the extra time, an extremely powerful right punch by the local hope made the difference and transformed the Manchester Central Exhibition Centre into a party, with the British fans going crazy with the music and Cho’s lively celebrations.
Pau Aguilar
Manchester, UK

1 Comment

  1. sandriele regina santana de melo fragoso

    eu amo o taekwondo, é muito bom participa de uma equipe de taekwondo, e outra fazer esporte é muito bom 🙂


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