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Lopez loses in quarterfinal, out of gold race

Lopez loses in quarterfinal, out of gold race

Athens gold medalist Steven Lopez of the United States was upset in the quarterfinals of the men's 80-kilogram taekwondo tournament Friday, losing in sudden-death overtime to Mauro Sarmiento of Italy.
The loss, his first since 2002, put Lopez _ who also won in Sydney but at a lighter weight _ out of the gold and silver medal contention. Lopez's brother Mark and sister, Diana, won a silver and a bronze on Thursday.
In a match worthy of a final, Steven Lopez fought Bahri Tanrikulu of Turkey in his opening bout. The two fought for gold at Athens, and though Lopez won that match, Tanrikulu went into it with a broken arm.
After a scoreless first round, Tanrikulu, a two-time world champion, scored with a roundhouse kick with 20 seconds to go in the second to take the lead. Lopez came back at the start of round three to score two points and added another to go ahead 3-1.
Tanrikulu had a point deducted just before the bell and the match ended 3-0 for Lopez.
He led 2-0 going into the final round of the quarterfinal, but was scored on and then dropped a point for a penalty to go into overtime with Sarmiento. With time running out, Sarmiento nailed Lopez with a jumping kick as Lopez lunged forward.
Hwang Kyung-seon of South Korea, who was favored to win the women's 67-kg class, cruised through her opening bout with a 5-1 score. Hwang won the bronze in Athens and was world champion in 2005 and 2007.
She fought a cautious quarterfinal but went ahead in the second round and used a counterattack kick in the third to win 3-1. In the semi, she was to square off with longtime rival Gwladys Epangue of France.


Updated : 2021-05-17 10:44 GMT+08:00