Joo Jeong-hun wins bronze as taekwondo debuts at Tokyo Games
Joo Jeong-hun won bronze in the men's under 75-kilogram sport class 44 taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Friday evening.
As taekwondo joined the Paralympics for the first time in Tokyo, Joo became the first-ever Korean taekwondo practitioner to win a Paralympic medal.
Joo lost his first bout against Magomedzagir Isaldibirov of Russia 35-31 but prevailed over the next three games straight to win his bronze medal: The repechage quarterfinal against Fatih Celik of Turkey 40-31, the repechage semifinal against Abulfaz Abuzarli of Azerbaijan 46-32 and the bronze medal match 35-31.
Russia's Isaldibriov and Joo faced each other once again in the bronze medal match, but this time Joo was the one to emerge victorious after three rounds.
Class 44 taekwondo practitioners have restrictions on one side in the arm or leg. Joo’s right hand was amputated as the result of an accident with an agricultural cutting machine when he was two-years-old.
“I hope those who see me with this bronze medal think that they also should shoot for the stars and that anything is possible,” said Joo in a post-match interview.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]