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Curtain falls with gold!
Curtain fell for Taekwondo in Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The biggest event for Taekwondo finds Europe counting overall 12 medals in these Olympic Games (two of them gold) many more experienced athletes to elevate the sport in the future, countries that loved Taekwondo through their Champions and many more taekwondo fans who got to know the sport on first hand.
After the completion of the 4th Competition Day the medal standings in the +80kg and +67kg category, in men and women respectively, is the following:
Men +80kg
1. Isaev Radik (AZE)
2. Issoufou Alfaga Abdoulrazak (NIG)
3. Siqueira Maicon (BRA)
3. Dongmin Cha (KOR)
Isaev Radik (AZE)– Ace of Spades
The world champion of Chelyabinsk 2016 made the Azerbaijani medal collection bigger! The Azerbaijani champion passed on to the QF scoring 11-2 to his opponent Zhaparov Rusian from Kazakhstan. Confronting the outstanding Korean Cha Dongmin, he qualified to the SF to compete with his familiar opponent Mahama Cho (GBR). The spectacular match went to the golden point round, the Azerbaijani took the point and passed on to the final for the gold! Going to the final match focused, passionate and determined, the Niger opponent Issoufou Alfaga Abdoulzarak did not proved to be enough to stop the Azerbaijani. After the 2nd round, Radik dominated the terrain and won the gold medal scoring 2 to 6. Isaev’s gold medal is the first gold medal in Tekwondo for Azerbaijan, the third medal in Taekwondo during Rio 2016 and in the Olympic Games in general for the sport.
The President of ETU Sakis Pragalos, stated: “We welcome Radik Isaev from Azerbaijan to the European Hall of Fame of the Gold Olympic Medalists. The three medals of the Azerbaijani team in Rio 2016 demonstrate their hard work and their determination to develop the sport. My cordial congratulations to the President Kamaladdin Heydarov and all the people in Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation for their excellent work.”
Bianka Walkden (GBR) – Walks with head high
The talented Bianka seems that she has many more titles to win in her next athletic steps. Competing for the first time in Olympic Games, Bianka managed to get the bronze medal, even though it was more than obvious that she was aiming quite higher. Passing in the QF after winning against Kassman Samantha (PNG), she got herself competing with the London 2012 Gold medalist Milica Mandic (SRB). After an outstanding performance of high level taekwondo skills, Bianka won Milica 5 to 0 and passed on to the SF. In that round she had to win the Chinese Zheng Shuyin. The game got to the golden point, but the British Champion never achieved getting it. So the road to the gold stopped there and she went for the bronze. Passing bye to the repechage, she confronted the Moroccan Dislam Wiam and after a flawless victory of 0 to 4, she got herself on the podium.
Bianka’s bronze medal is the 3rd medal of the British team in Taekwondo during Rio 2016.
Women +67kg
1. Zheng Shuyin (CHN)
2. Espinoza Maria De Rosario (MEX)
3. Bianka Walkden (GBR)
3. Galloway Jackie (USA)
The other European participations
Mahama Cho (GBR) – So close though so far
He was on his way to the top. Yet the British athlete, despite the fact that he passed the skillful Iranian Mardani Sajjad in the QF by taking the golden point, he was easily stopped by the Azebaijani Isaev Radik, who was proved to be the ‘gold’ one of their category. Therefore, Cho passed bye to the repechage and tried to claim the bronze medal against the local Sicueira Maicon. The Brazilian seemed to have the upper hand, at least from the spectators’ side and Mahama never reached a place on the podium.
N Diaye M Bar (FRA) – Heavy loss
Having his first match against the Niger silver medalist Issoufou Alfaga Abdoulzarak, lost with 6-0 in points. He qualified though to the repechage, where he competed with the Brazilian Siqueira Maicon, who proved his superiority and the French ended his course there.
Silla Arman-Marshall (BLR) – Non show
The double European Champion – in Baku 2014 and Montreux 2016 was favored for the podium. Yet the athlete missed the weight in and was instantly disqualified.
Milica Mandic (SRB) -She could do better
Milica started well by trying to defend her Olympic title. In her first match she opposed Tina Skaar (NOR) and easily with a 8-2 in the points qualified to quarterfinals. The big obstacle to pass was Bianca Walkden (GBR). The two athletes meet each other over the last years many times. And Milica lost against Bianca 0-5 as it happened last May during the European Championships in Montreux at the final of their weight category. The two athletes know each other well and the balance to a fight with such a significance is very stressful. The big loss though was that Bianca didn’t make it to the final in order to pull her in repechages.  
Gwladys Epangue (FRA) – Respect
Olympic Bronze medalist in Beijing 2008, Gwladys achieved to recover after long term injury and got herself claiming a second Olympic medal after eight years, since she did not participate in the London 2012 Olympic Games. She qualified to the QF with her victory against the Ivorian Kone Mamina, yet in the SF she lost against the Chinese Zheng Shuyin, who won the gold medal. Hence, since the Chinese went up to the final roung, drew Gwladys to the repechage where she won the Nepalese Rawal Nisha, who also was one of the athletes who took the “wild card” to get to the Olympic Games. In the second stage of the repechage round, she did not achieve to pass the young American Galloway Jackie and was left outside the medals.
Reshimie Oogink (NED) - Strike while the iron is hot
Reshimie has a lot of potential and this is obvious on the terrain. She competed with all of her passion and managed to pass to the QF, where she met the American Galloway Jackie. Reshimie did not seem to be focused enough and never made it to qualify further.
Tina Skaar (NOR) – No(r)way to the medals
Tina’s dream ended too soon. Her first match with Milica Mandic was proved crucial. She lost 2 to 8 and never made it to the repechage either, since Milica was stopped later by the British Walkden.





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