Muju 2017 WC – Day 4: Korea clinches 3rd gold as Turkey grabs 1st
Korea clinched its third gold medal of the event, that is 3 out of 6 so far, as Dae-hoon Lee, double Olympic medallist and Puebla 2013 world champion, conquered another world title (M-68) after smashing Huang (TPE) in the final thanks to an attacking masterclass (26-8). The other gold of the day was taken by Turkey, its first in Muju, which came through Nur Tatar’s victory over Paige McPherson from USA in the Women’s -67 kg final by 6-4. The bronze medallists of the Men’s -68 kg were Ahmad Abughaush, reigning Olympic champion, and Dalakliev (BUL), while the lower step of the Women’s -67 jg podium was occupied by Jan-di Kim (KOR) and Mengyu Zhang (CHN).
Men’s -68 kg
1 – Dae-hoon Lee (KOR)
2 – Yu-jen Huang (TPE)
3 – Vladimir Dalakliev (BUL)
3 – Ahmad Abughaush (JOR)
Women’s -67 kg
1 – Nur Tatar (TUR)
2 – Paige McPherson (USA)
3 – Jan-di Kim (KOR)
3 – Mengyu Zhang (CHN)
Women’s -67 kg
Nur Tatar needed the extra time to access the world final after finishing the match against the local hope, Jan-di Kim, with a tie to 9. The Turkish representative seemed to be clearly ahead and accessing the final (5-1), but Kim started feeling better and attacking more precisely. She connected a body kick and a punch in the second to short the distance to only 1 point. In the final round, Tatar reacted and sccored two points at the very beginning of the final two minutes, but the Korean athlete found Tatar’s body in two consecutive occasions to almost taste the victory with 3 seconds left (8-9). But Tatar used her fist again to go to the sudden death period, in which she found Kim’s body after a bad attack to access the big final.
Tatar’s rival in the gold medal match would be Paige McPherson, bronze at Chelyabinsk 2015 and current Pan American champion, who managed to beat Zhang from China in a demonstration of time control. Zhang connected a precise head kick at the beginning of the clash and stayed 3-0 up until the last round, in which the American grabbed two quick points through a body kick. With 3-2 and only few seconds left, McPherson found Zhang’s body in two consecutive occasions and rocketed to a 6-3 lead. Paige decided to avoid the Chinese in the final seconds and went through by 6-5.
Men’s -68 kg
The 2013 world champion and double Olympic medallist, Dae-hoon Lee, jumped into the final after proving to be clearly at a different level than his rival, Dalakliev (BUL). Even though the Bulgarian was the first fighter to score after Lee fell on the floor (0-1), the European athlete couldn’t land a punch neither a kick on Lee during the whole match and was outscored by 23-6. The local idol connected 8 body kicks and a spectacular head kick during the clash, another offensive masterclass by one of the best athletes on the planet.
It is always hard to become Olympic champion and win the world championships on the next year, and Ahmad Abughaush is another proof of this fact. The Jordan couldn’t perform at the same level he did in Rio and lost to Huang from Chinese Taipei by 9-4 in a fight that was very balanced until the very last moment. With Huang having scored 5 points through a head and a body kick and Abighaush having taken 4 points thanks to two left body kicks, the Jordan had to attack in the last seconds to make the final, a desperation that was awaited by Huang, who scored not once but twice landing a foot on the body.
Women’s -67 kg
Nur Tatar, double Olympic medallist and Chelyabinsk 2015 WC silver, finally tasted gold in a major competition outside Europe after defeating Paige McPherson from USA by 6-4 in a very close final. Not much happened in the first two minutes, with both athletes feeling the pressure of the final. In the second, the Turkish representative took advantage of a gam-jeon to inaugurate the scoreboard, but McPherson connected a left body kick to stay 2-1 ahead. Tatar reacted quickly and scored two more points in the same way, and then found the American’s body with her fist to jump to a 4-2 lead. She then connected another body kick and established a 4 point distance which was just too much to overcome. The American’s pride allowed her to score two more points through another body kick, but that was all she could do.
Men’s -68 kg
The double Olympic medallist, Dae-hoon Lee, is now a double world champion as well, as he showed the world he is simply the best Men’s -68 kg Taekwondo fighter nowadays with another offensive demonstration. He mantained an incredible kicking rythm throughout the 6 minutes that couldn’t be contained by Huang (TPE). In the end, 26-8 on the scoreboard with not a single chance from the Chinese Taipei representative to get into the fight. Lee connected several body and head kicks and just erased his opponent from the Tatami.
Day session: Men’s -58 kg and Women’s -53 and +73 kg
Korea (2), Russia (2), Spain, Mexico, USA, China, Great Britain, Turkey, Latvia and Uzbekistan were the ten countries who placed athletes into the Semi-finals of the Women’s -53 and +73 kg and Men’s -58 kg categories, which will all be resolved during Wednesday’s evening session.
The fighters who will battle for the gold medals on the fourth day of action will be:
Men’s -58 kg
– Carlos Navarro (MEX)
– Yun-jo Jeong (KOR)
– Mikhail Artamonov (RUS)
– Jesus Tortosa (ESP)
Navarro, world number 1 and reigning Pan American champion, will face the local hope, Jeong, for a place in the big final, as the Tortosa and Artamonov will fight each other for the other spot. The Mexican idol proved to be in great shape after solidly defeating Wu (CHN 20-12), Al Mahrouqi (OMA 12-3), Suzuki (JPN 16-3) and Molom (MGL 32-18), while Jeong also performed at an extraordinary level, easily edging Paksashvili (GEO 14-1), Sezgin (GER 24-12), Cater (GBR 16-5) and Hanprab (THA 28-15) to certify his way to the Semis. On the other side of the draw, Tortosa got rid of Coelho (STP by Disqualification), Haimovits (ISR 20-3), Fakinos (GRE 33-13) and Neffati (TUN 16-12), while Artamonov left Amougou (CMR 23-1), Nguyen (VIE 13-8), Bensaleh (BEL 16-6) and no other than the reignin world champion of the category, the Iranian Farzan Ashourzadeh (IRI 8-7) on his path to certify a medal in the division.
Women’s -53 kg
– Zeliha Agris (TUR)
– Dinoharon Mamadibragimova (UZB)
– Inese Tarvida (LAT)
– Tatiana Kudashova (RUS)
Agris, presented her candidacy for the gold medal after getting rid of Tyrologou (GRE 20-0), Garcia (COL 14-8) and the current world number 2 Abdelkader (EGY 2-2 by Superiority), securing the second medal for Turkey in the event; Mamadibragimova showed her power over Gurung (NEP 25-7), Ben Ali (TUN 8-2) Chambers (USA 8-7) and Tijana Bogdanovic, silver medallist at Rio 2016 and current European champion (SRB 5-5 by Superiority); Tarvida defeated Schoenegger (AUT 11-1), Malykke (DEN 6-2) and the local athlete for the category, Kim Min-jeong (KOR 4-3); while Kudashova’s superb performance on Tuesday left English (AUS 14-0), Nwosu (NGR19-1) and Wei (CHN 16-3) behind her.
Women’s +73 kg
– Bianca Walkden (GBR)
– Saebom An (KOR)
– Jackie Galloway (USA)
– Shuyin Zheng (CHN)
Walkden, Rio 2016 bronze medallist and world champion at Chelyabinsk 2015, clearly proved to be at her best to repeat the crown after outscoring Esteban (NCA 20-1), Adamic (CRO 26-8) and Ivanova, bronze medallist at home two years ago (RUS 10-2), securing the first medal for Great Britain in the event; An did a great job to content the spectators at T1 Arena with her victories over Outadinma (NGR 26-10), Brandl (GER 24-13), and Acosta; Galloway beat Tarman (JOR by DSQ), Bravo (COL 8-3) and the bronze medallist at Chelyabinsk 2015 Kus (TUR 6-5); while the reigning Olympic champion, Shuyin Zheng, left no chance for surprises after getting rid of Hobday (AUS 9-7), Mellier (FRA 18-6) and Dislam (MAR 13-6) to add a new medal to her collection.
Tomorrow will be the day for the Semi-finals and Finals of these two divisions and for the beginning of the Women’s -73 kg and Men’s -87 and +87 kg categories, which will complete their draw until the Semi-final round.
Pau Aguilar, Muju