Iran, Mexico Win Gold Medal At World Taekwondo Championships
In the men´s under 72kg category final, Hadi Saei Bonehkohal of Iran brushed aside a stiff challenge from Russian Alan Akoev to clinch the gold medal.
The bronze medal went to Japan´s Takahino Niimi and Venezuela´s Carlos Vasquez.
The Iranian advanced to the final as Japan´s Takahino Niimi could not continue his match because of his injury. The referee stopped the contest in the first round.
The Iranian player became the first recipient of the WTF Taekwondo Spirit Award. In recognition of his outstanding community service to those in need and his excellent performances at various international taekwondo competitions, WTF President Chungwon Choue presented the Iranian the Taekwondo Spirit Award.
The gold medal in the women´s under 63kg division went to Mexican Diaz Edna as she beat Chinese Taipei´s Li Wen Su by superiority in the sudden death.
Thailand´s Premwaew Chonnapas and Marton Carmen of Australia each earned the bronze medal in the women´s division.
The opening day of the five-day championships saw two Korean players dropped out in early rounds.
Gold medal hopeful Kim Yeon-ji, who earned the gold medal at the past two World Taekwondo Championships, suffered a surprise defeat in her first match against Australian Marton Carmen.
Moon Sang-hyun of Korea was downed by Iranian Hadi in the men´s under 72kg class quarterfinal match.
About 1,700 players and officials from a record 125 countries are attending the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo Championships.