(Olympics) S. Korea goes without Olympic taekwondo gold for 1st time

유지호 / 2021-07-27 22:26:48
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(Olympics) S Korea-taekwondo
▲ In Kyo-don of South Korea (R) battles Dejan Georgievski of Macedonia in the semifinals of the men's +80kg taekwondo event at the Tokyo Olympics at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Chiba, Japan, on July 27, 2021. (Yonhap)

▲ Lee Da-bin of South Korea reacts to her loss to Milica Mandic of Serbia in the final of the women's +67kg taekwondo event at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Chiba, Japan, on July 27, 2021. (Yonhap)

▲ Lee Da-bin of South Korea (L) fights Milica Mandic of Serbia in the final of the women's +67kg taekwondo event at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Chiba, Japan, on July 27, 2021. (Yonhap)

▲ South Korean taekwondo athletes and officials watch In Kyo-don in action during the quarterfinals of the men's +80kg taekwondo event at the Tokyo Olympics at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Chiba, Japan, on July 27, 2021. (Yonhap)

(Olympics) S Korea-taekwondo

(Olympics) S. Korea goes without Olympic taekwondo gold for 1st time

By Yoo Jee-ho

CHIBA, Japan, July 27 (Yonhap) -- There is a first time for everything, though this isn't the type of a first time that South Korea wanted at the Tokyo Olympics.

South Korea has been shut out of gold medals in taekwondo, something that has never happened since the traditional Korean martial art was added to the Olympics in 2000.

On the last day of taekwondo at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday, Lee Da-bin won silver in the women's +67kg and In Kyo-don picked up bronze in the men's +80kg events at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Chiba, east of Tokyo.

South Korea sent six athletes to the taekwondo competition, more than at any other Olympics to date. The group produced three medals overall, with Jang Jun having won bronze in the men's 58kg last Saturday.

On that same day, Sim Jae-young, a two-time world champion, lost in the quarterfinals of the women's 49kg event.

An even bigger shock awaited the taekwondo team on Sunday, when Lee Dae-hoon, a three-time world champion with two Olympic medals, was stunned in the round of 16 by Ulugbek Rashitov of Uzbekistan.

Lee snuck into the repechage phase when Rashitov made it to the final. Lee had to win two repechage contests just to get into the bronze medal match, but lost to Zhao Shuai of China. Lee announced his retirement after the loss, never having won that elusive Olympic gold.

Also on Sunday, Lee Ah-reum was gone after the round of 16 in the women's 57kg event, and she didn't even get to the repechage stage.

Lee Da-bin's progress to the final raised hopes of avoiding the gold medal shutout, especially after Lee defeated world No. 1 Bianca Walkden in the semifinals, overcoming a two-point deficit with three seconds left by landing a three-point kick to the head.

In the final, though, Lee went down 5-0 early against Milica Mandic of Serbia. She pulled into a 6-6 tie with 42 seconds remaining but then Mandic picked up four unanswered points for the win.

In Kyo-don got tripped up in the semis before salvaging a bronze medal.

(END)

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