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Taipei 2014 WTF World Junior Championships – Day 3: Great Britain and Iran collect 2 golds as Korea takes 2nd title and Italy tastes 1st glory

Taipei 2014 WTF World Junior Championships – Day 3: Great Britain and Iran collect 2 golds as Korea takes 2nd title and Italy tastes 1st glory

Great Britain and Iran won two gold medals each in the third day of action of the Taipei 2014 World Junior Championships to jump to the top of the medal table of the event, a place where they joined Korea, who also won its second title of the tournament on Tuesday. The sixth final victory of the day was awarded to Italy, who clinched its first gold thanks to a superb performance by Davide Spinosa in the Male’s -68 kg division.
The first final of Taipei 2014 WJC confronted Abigail Stones from United Kingdom and Irene Therese Bermejo from Philippines, who battled for the Female’s -42 kg title. Stones had proved herself as an spectacular offensive player throughout the day and started strong this crucial fight, scoring 3 points through a head kick in the first round to lead 3-0. The match seemed to be under control for the British, but Bermejo had still something to say, as she came back from her defensive position so far to tie the game to 5 with only 1:30 minutes to play. In the last period, each athlete was able to score 1 point, which lead the match to the sudden death, where Stones was more accurate to connect the winning kick and win the gold. Laura Palmer (ESP) and Jin-Hee Jeon (KOR) were their companions in the podium.

Female's -42 kg podium

The second big clash of the evening had another British athlete in play, as Lauren Williams faced Hyeon-Jeong Han from Korea for the Female’s -59 kg crown. Williams attacked in a very high pace in the first round, taking a 7-3 lead over Han, who could only score through a head kick. Hand knew she had to reduce her opponent’s advantage in the second round to keep some chances of gold, and so she did, scoring 4 points to lose by only 8-7. The match looked really tied, but Stones didn’t want to struggle for this world championships, connecting a tremendous turn head kick and several body kicks to finish it 17-8. Second gold of the day for GBR and second medal for Korea.

Female's -59 kg podium

Time for the first male final of the session, in which the Italian Davide Spinosa won the gold medal of the Male’s -68 kg after beating the Turkish Emre Sayan by 21-18. Sayan didn’t waste a second to became champion, scoring his first three points through a head kick in the first action of the clash. The first round was clearly dominated by him, with Spinosa struggling to contain his constant attacks (8-3). But the Italian was going to perform the best round of the night so far, managing to take control of the match thanks to an absolute attacking festival that gave him a 16-14 lead with only one round to play. And he did not let go this opportinity, making the crowd the best Taekwondo of the event with several jumping actions that led him to the golden glory (21-18). Seung-Gu Lee (KOR) and Oleksiy Zyablytsev (UKR) were awarded with the bronze medals of the division.

Davide Spinosa on top of Male's -68 kg podium

The second male final was finally the good one for Korea, as Gil-Young Byeon defeated Amirhossein Omidi from Iran to became the new junior world champion of the Male’s -78 kg category. Byeon didn’t want to be less than the Italian champion and exhibited a spectacular collection of head kicks in the first round, which finished 8-0, with the Iranian struggling to contain such a wonderful attack. The second period didn’t change the scene much, as the Korean extended his lead to 10 points (12-2) thanks to another brilliant jumping head kick. The last round was a simple formality for Byeon, who controlled the score comfortably to win by 13-5. Jonathan Healy (USA) and Yoann Miangue (FRA) completed a great run to the semi-finals to take the bronze medals of the division.

Male's -78 kg podium

Iran had another chance to clinch a gold in the fifth final of the day, in which Mashdi Eshaghi (IRI) faced Vladislav Gaponyuk from Russia for the Male’s -45 kg title. The Russian seemed to handle better the pressure at the beginning, finding the Russian’s body with two precise kicks, but the Iranian turn the score back through a head kick to lead 3-2. The second period was even more successful for Eshaghi, who hit Gaponyuk’s head twice to reach a 9-2 lead. The last 1 and a half minutes were for the Iranian to certificate his triumph, which he did comfortably to climb to the top of the podium (12-4). Onur Altan (TUR) and Taras Malchenko (UKR) were awarded with the bronze medal of the division.

Male's -45 kg podium

The last final of the WJC 2014 third day of action levelled the power between another Iranian athlete, Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, and the German Rhonda Nat, who faced each other for the Female’s -52 kg championship. The first round was very close, with both fighters managing to score only one point and leaving the deciding actions for later stages. The Iranian was the first one to high up her attacking pace, finding Nat’s body for three consecutive times and connecting an accurate head kick to move to a 7-1 lead with 1:30 minutes to go. Nat had to react quickly to maintain any chance of victory, but the Asian player didn’t allow her to. In the end, 9-1 for Alizadeh Zenoorin. Leah Moorby (GBR) and Soo-In Chae (KOR) took the lower step of the final podium of the category.

Female's -52 kg podium

Final podiums:

Female’s -42 kg

1 – Abigail Stones (GBR)
2 – Irene Therese Bermejo (PHI)
3 – Laura Palmer (ESP)
3 – Jin-Hee Jeon (KOR)
Female’s -52 kg

1 – Alizadeh Zenoorin (IRI)
2 – Rhonda Nat (GER)
3 – Leah Moorby (GBR)
3 – Soo-In Chae (KOR)
Female’s -59 kg

1 – Lauren Williams (GBR)
2 – Hyeon-Jeong Han (KOR)
3 – Shuhui Gao (CHN)
3 – Maria Moysidou (GRE)
Male’s -45 kg

1- Mashdi Eshaghi (IRI)
2 – Vladislav Gaponyuk (RUS)
3 – Onur Altan (TUR)
3 – Taras Malchenko (UKR)
Male’s -68 kg

1 – Davide Spinosa (ITA)
2 – Emre Sayan (TUR)
3 – Seung-Gu Lee (KOR)
3 – Oleksiy Zyablytsev (UKR)
Male’s -78 kg

1 – Gil-Young Byeon (KOR)
2 – Amirhossein Omidi (IRI)
3 – Jonathan Healy (USA)
3 – Yoann Miangue (FRA)

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