Taekwondo women win, men fourthKorea saw mixed results at the 2015 World Taekwondo Championships that wrapped up its seven-day run in Chelyabnisk, Russia on Monday. The women clinched the overall title, but the men had their worst finish ever.
On the final day of the competition at the jam-packed 7,500-seat Traktor Arena, both Kim Bong-su in the men’s under-80 kilogram class and Seo Ji-eun at under-62 failed to medal. Korea ended the biennial event with four gold medals and one bronze out of 16 divisions, eight in both the men’s and women’s categories.
But Korea’s women did most of the work in the last week, clinching three gold medals for 56 points to take the overall title. Ha Min-ah took the top spot at under-49 kilograms, Lim Geum-byeol - who became the youngest Korean to win the Worlds at 16 - grabbed gold at under-53 kilograms and Oh Hye-ri dominated the under-73 kilogram class.
The men, on the other hand, disappointed with their worst World’s performance ever, netting just one gold and one bronze medal. Kim Tae-hun managed to defend his world title at under-54 kilograms, while Shin Dong-yun took bronze at under-68.
This is the first time that the men’s team won only a single gold medal. Previously, the team’s worst performance was at the 2011 Worlds in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, when it took two golds and two silvers.
Korea’s men eventually finished fourth with 42 points, behind Uzbekistan, which won one gold and two silvers for 43 points. Iran grabbed three gold medals and one bronze for a total of 65 points for the first place, followed by host Russia with two silvers and three bronzes for 50 points.
Some of the top men’s contenders failed to medal. Two-time defending champion Lee Dae-hun lost to Joel Gonzalez Bonilla of Spain in the Round of 16 at under-63 kilograms, and Jo Chol-ho, the 2011 world champ and the winner of the 2014 Asian Games, also finished without a medal at over-87 kilograms.
Korea’s Kang Nam-won, however, was named best female team coach
The World Taekwondo Federation said that the championship drew 873 athletes from 139 countries.
Korea will host the 2017 event in Muju, North Jeolla.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [firstname.lastname@example.org]