Taiwan grabs gold in taekwondo at Summer Universiade

Taiwanese taekwondo star Su Po-ya.

Taiwanese taekwondo star Su Po-ya. (CNA photo)

Taipei (CNA) - Taiwanese Su Po-ya (蘇柏亞) beat a South Korean rival to capture gold in the women's taekwondo under-53 kilogram division at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples on Friday (July 12).

Su overwhelmed Ha Min-ah of South Korea with a series of punches and kicks to win by a final score of 10-4 and claim gold, the sixth won by Taiwan at the Universiade thus far.

The final was a repeat of the gold medal bout in the same weight division at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, when Su defeated Ha 29-10.

Friday's battle was a far more defensive affair, with the two athletes tied 1-1 after two rounds in the three-round bout. But Su, currently ranked seventh in the world in her weight class, finally pierced the defenses of her opponent in the final round to cruise to victory.

Whether Su's success will translate into a spot on Taiwan's Olympic taekwondo team in 2020 remains a major question mark, because the Olympic Games have a curtailed taekwondo program that includes an under 57 kg. division but not Su's under 53 kg. division.

Her gold medal brought Taiwan's total haul in the sport at this year's Universiade to nine, with one gold, six silvers and two bronzes. South Korea leads in total taekwondo medals with 11, including seven golds, followed by Iran with 10.

Overall, with just one full day of competition left at the 30th Universiade, Taiwan ranks seventh in total medals with 25 (six golds, 12 silvers and seven bronzes), far fewer than the 90 it won in 2017 when the Universiade was held in Taipei.

Japan leads in total medals in Naples with 72, followed by Russia with 70, the United States with 51 and South Korea with 45. (By Oscar Wu and Chung Yu-chen)