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Mexico, South Korea advance to taekwondo final

Mexico, South Korea advance to taekwondo final

World champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico earned a slot in the finals of the women's over 67-kilogram class on the closing day of the Olympic taekwondo competition Saturday.
China's double gold medalist Chen Zhong crashed out in the quarterfinals after initially being declared the winner. It was the first time a match result had been overturned in Olympic taekwondo history.
In men's over 80-kg, Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece will take on South Korea's Cha Dong-min.
Working her way through the easier of the two pools, Norway's Nina Solheim won her first two bouts with a comfortable point margin and defeated 2005 world champion Natalia Falavigna of Brazil in the semis to meet Espinoza in the final.
Espinoza had a tougher draw and had her hands full getting through the quarters 4-2 against Sweden's Karolina Kedzierska, who launched several high kicks that did not connect.
Espinoza then took on Britain's Sarah Stevenson, the 2006 European champion, in the semis. Espinoza dominated the match, earning her final berth with a 4-1 win.
Espinoza was to fight Chen in the semis, but the judges overturned an earlier ruling and made Stevenson the winner of the quarterfinal bout in which Chen scored in the closing seconds of the second round and then Stevenson tagged her with a head kick _ worth two points _ in the third.
The judges ruled Stevenson's kick wasn't solid enough for points, and Chen was declared the winner 1-0. But Britain protested, and the result was changed to put Stevenson in the semifinal.
The decision brought loud jeers from the crowd. China did not appeal.
"I obviously had scored. I don't know if they weren't watching or what," Stevenson said. "That's one of the things I hate about this sport."
In men's, 2007 world champion Daba Modibo Keita of Mali was defeated in overtime in the quarterfinals by Nigeria's Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije. The Nigerian then went up against Athens silver medalist Nikolaidis.
Nikolaidis scored with a head kick in the third round, then again in the final second to advance to the final.
Fighting for South Korea, which has never lost in the Olympic heavyweight division, Cha took an early lead over Uzbekistan's Akmal Irgashev, but was pegged at the end of the second for a 1-1 tie going into the final round. Irgashev had a point deducted for a penalty and Cha scored again for a 2-0 win.
He scored again in the first round against Cuba's Angel Matos in the semis, and held on to the bell to win 1-0.
Matos, who won silver in Sydney, narrowly made it to the semis after going into overtime with China's Liu Xiaobo in a surprisingly close quarterfinal. Matos won with a middle kick soon after overtime began.


Updated : 2021-03-08 03:43 GMT+08:00