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The first Day of Taekwondo at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 was successfully completed today on 17th August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the Carioca Arena 3. Throughout the medal standings, two (2) out of the four (4) women medallists are proving that European women lead the way in Taekwondo. After a series of spectacular matches in the categories Women -49kg and Men -58kg, the Olympic medallists are the following: 
 
Women -49kg
1st : Kim Sohui(KOR)
2nd: Bogdanovic Tijana (SRB)
3rd : Abakarova Patimat (AZE)
3rd : Wongpattanakit Panipak (THA)
 
Men -58kg
1st : Zhao Shuai (CHN)
2nd : Hanprab Tawin (THA)
3rd : Pie Luisito (DOM)
3rd : Kim Taehun (KOR)
 
Bogdanovic Tijana (SRB) – Timeless Golden point
The 18-year-old “athlete of the year 2015” and full promising Serbian athlete showed that she surely stands high in quality. Passionate and determined, she manage to make a series of three victories, the first against Abakarova Patimat (AZE) scoring 3-2, the other confronting Wu Jingyu (CHN) with a high score win of 17-7 and finally she competed against Itzel Adilene Manjarrez Bastidas (MEX), qualifying to the final after scoring 10-0. During a thrilling final match with the Korean Kim Sohui and while the score was 7-6 in favor of the Korean, for clusters of a second, she did not manage to lead the match to the golden point. It might have been the young of her age that finally brought the silver medal, yet Tijana has for sure a long way to go, many more titles to claim and medals to win.
 
Patimat Abakarova (AZE) – The first medal for Azerbaijan!
The Azerbaijani athlete, despite the fact that she was stopped by the Serbian Bogdanovic Tijana from claiming the top of the podium, had the chance to chase the bronze medal through the repechage, where she competed with the Chinese Jingyu Wu and won scoring 3-4. In the final stage of the repechage she showed her supremacy over the French Aziez and took the bronze medal after her victory of 2-7.
 
Yasmina Aziez (FRA) – Anxiety never proved a good ally
With a score of 1-2 against Monica Pimentel Rodriguez (ARU), Aziez passed to the quarterfinal where she confronted her lifetime taekwondo opponent Zaninovic Jucija (CRO). The two women had met several times on the terrain during the European Championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014, with the later always being the one who qualified to the next round. Having not met for two years since Baku 2014, Aziez Yasmina managed to win for the first time, qualified to the semifinals, trying to claim a place in the final against the Korean Kim Sohui, yet she did not manage to take the golden point from her opponent. In the final stage of the repechage she found the Azebaijani Abakarova, who left her outside the Olympic podium.
 
Lucija Zaninovic (CRO) – Golden point(less)
The bronze medalist in London 2012 and gold in Baku 2014 was favored to proceed to the final. After an easy match against Yesbergenova Ainur (KAZ) scoring 18-7, she competed against the French Aziez Yasmina, who she has won several times in the past in 2010,2012 and 2014 European Championship. Unfortunately, her winning opponent did not qualify to the finals, so Lucija did not had the chance to go to the repechage and fight for a place on the podium.
 
Jesus Tortosa Cabrera (ESP) – So close!
The youngest of the Spanish taekwondo trinity qualified in Rio 2016, stood unlucky from his first fight against the Chinese Zhao Shuai. He took the victory against the Morrocan Hajjami Omar in the repechage round and fought afterwards with the Dominican Pie Luisito, where finally, the second one managed to get the bronze medal after a dramatic tie match leading to the golden point.
 
Rui Braganca (POR) – Sometimes a bit of luck might do 
One of the most qualified and promising athletes, stood unlucky in the end. Following his spectacular win against Munoz Oviedo (COL) with 14-3, he could not make it to the semifinals, after his loss from the Dominican Pie Luisito. What is more, Braganca did not had the chance to get to the repechage either, since the previous did not manage to get to the final competition.
 
Si Mohamed Ketbi (BEL) – Weigh off the medals
After being absent for a lot of months from major taekwondo tournaments and a recent weigh gain, Ketbi managed to return to the kilos of his category very fast, yet this might have had weakened him. During his fight with the Australian Safwan Khalil, the later showed his superiority and took the match scoring 1-8.
 
Ron Atias (ISR) – He has a long way ahead 
The Israeli athlete qualified in Rio 2016 through the European Qualification Tournament in January 2016. As the first Israeli man in Taekwondo having qualified in the Olympics, his expectations did not match his first competition against the local Venilton Teixeira, where he lost by 12 points gap in the 2nd round. Atias did not manage to qualify to the repechage as well, since the Brazilian lost in the quarterfinals and claimed the place.
 
Levent Tuncat (GER) – Health first 
Due to injury reasons, the team doctor did not permit the German athlete to compete, so his opponent Pie Luisito (DOM) passed bye to the quarterfinals.
 

 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW of Mr.Dragan Jovic to European Taekwondo Union

 

The 18-year-old Tijana Bogdanovic won the Silver medal -49kg during the 1st Competition Day in Rio 2016 on 17th August. Yet Serbia has not already played all of her cards, since the London 2012 Gold medallist Milica Mandic will compete on Saturday (20 of August) defending her title.
The man behind the two Olympians and coach of the National Taekwondo Team of Serbia, Dragan Jovic talks to ETU.
 
ETU: This is your second presence in the Olympic Games  as a country and you strike two to two Olympic medals. What is the reason of this success?
Dragan: The success is behind all the people that have contributed to this result. My club and everyone in there, from coaches, to doctors and athletes. We work hard and organized. The professionalism of our coaches and doctors enhances the best possible physical preparation of all athletes, who are also supported from the sport psychologist. Indeed, we train big athletes, but what we strive for is to carefully select the best cadets, prepare them and preserving their level while juniors and lead them to an athletic peak as seniors as well. We are just like a factory of Champions. This is not easy. It needs time, a lot of work, passion and dedication.
 
ETU: How easy or difficult was for an 18-year-old girl to reach such a high competition level?
Dragan: Tijana is indeed very young, but she is amazing. She has won numerous titles as a cadet and a junior, she has been always participating in major European Tournaments, counting around 20 medals, which is unbelievable if you consider her age. She is a very good athlete and has been in the steps of Milica, since there is program for athletes to follow and work for their progress.
 
ETU: Which were the final tips you gave to Tijana before the final match?
Dragan: We prepare a tactic for every opponent. Tijana just had to follow the program she had been working on all this year along with the tactic for each lady she fought against. Our pool results were very hard. During the first match she had to compete with the Azerbaijani Abakarova – a very skillful athlete – who have met already three time in the past. Obviously she was stressed during the match. The second one was with the Chinese – favored for the gold.  I will not tell you what I said to her right before the final match, but generally she already knew what she had to do. She had been prepared for all of the fights. In the final – you saw what happened. I objected for the fall of the Korean being out of time and it was rejected. This was not a random match. It was the match for the Olympic Gold medal. But I am not the one responsible to do anything after this. The issue has moved to the National Olympic Committee, which will proceed to an objection to IOC.
 
ETU: We watched a thrilling final match. Would you change something in your strategy against the Korean opponent now that you know the result?
Dragan: No, I would not change anything. As I said, Tijana was following a tactic against every opponent she faced. I do not know what went wrong, because Tijana showed her quality throughout the game. She also had the greatest support from the spectators – basketball players, other Serbian athletes, everyone were inside the arena cheering and supporting Tijana – this is a big inspiration. Maybe the young of her age, did not permit her to act accordingly and turn the score, which was taken advantage by the Korean to preserve the difference.
 
ETU: The 2 out of the 3 Olympic Gold medals of Serbia are from Taekwondo. Do you see it becoming the National sport?
Dragan: Taekwondo is the National sport of Serbia. It is very popular throughout the country, everyone knows its rules and there are many enthusiasts, as well as young talents popping out. There are numerous taekwondo clubs and coaches around the country and what we hope for after this medal is to make better the conditions to practice taekwondo.
 
ETU: Along with our best wishes for Milica, which is the advice that you would give her before the competition?
Dragan: Milica is pressured for four years now, striving to continue in this level and preserve her title. She has participated in many tournaments during all these years, maybe not always giving the 100%, but she has not made it that far because she stood lucky and now she is smarter and more experienced than the Milica in London 2012. So I would just tell her to act normal like any other tournament. To enjoy it with her body and mind. She has nothing to prove. She worked hard for this and she got it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Throughout the second day of the Taekwondo sport in Olympic Games, twelve European athletes competed in the round of 16 in the categories -68kg for men and -57kg for women. Totally, ten out of twelve European athletes qualified to the quarterfinals dominating the road to the semifinals.
 
The matches of the quarterfinals in the next phase for the -68kg men category are:
 
Denisenko Alexey (RUS) VS Tazegul Servet (TUR),
Robak Karol (POL) VS Achab Jaouad (BEL),
and 
the Spanish gold Olympic medallist in London 2012 Gonzalez Bonilla Joel against Purevjav Temuujin (MGL). 
 
For the -57kg women category:
 
The Finnish Mikkonen Suvi will face Glasnovic Nikita (SWE),
Asemani Raheleh from Belgium will compete with the gold Olympic medalist in London 2012 Jones Jade (GBR)
and
Calvo Gomez Eva (ESP) will fight against the Iranian Alizadeh Zenoorin Kimia.
 
That means that in both final games today, we will have European representatives.

 

 

The dream to preserve his Olympic title from London2012 stopped by Ahmad Abughaush from Jordan at the semifinals. 

Gonzalez Bonilla Joel who won Grgic Filip from Croatia and then Temuujin Purevjav (MGL) seemed to be absent from the most crucial fight towards the medals. At the same time, his defeat meant that the Jordan Abughaush Ahmad will claim the first Olympic medal in the history of his country.

 

The Russian Alexey Denisenko is not going to be an easy opponent though. This final match is also giving the opportunity to Russia to win its first Gold medal in Taekwondo. Let us not forget that Denisenko has been on the podium before in London 2012, having won the bronze medal and claiming the gold one is also a personal closer.

 

The big surprise of the day was the disqualification of the Gold Olympic medalist in London 2012 Servet Tazegul (TUR) in the quarterfinals, but because he lost from Denisenko, he now has the opportunity to claim the bronze medal in the repechage. There, he will face Edgar Contreras (VEN) and in case he qualifies, he will compete against Joel Gonzalez Bonilla (ESP). The two men have met just once before, during a Grand Prix in 2014, with the Spanish athlete winning. The change of the weigh category for Gonzalez Bonilla, proved the difficulty to dominate in such a high level competitions, but at the same time he showed that he was up to the challenge.

 

Achab Jaouad from Belgium, even if he has been collecting gold medals for the last two years, with the major one being in the World Championships Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2015, he stood frozen at the semifinal against Denisenko. Now he has to wait for his opponent in repechage, among the Ahmed Ghofran (EGY) and the Lee Dae-Hoon Dae-Hoon from Korea.

 

The gold medal in women category -57kg will be claimed by Jade Jones (GBR) who will try to preserve the title of the Olympian and Eva Calvo from Spain. The two women have met several times before, sharing victories in final matches in both European and international tournaments.

 

The experienced Jade Jones took the qualification to the semifinals by Raheleh Asemani (BEL) and then confronted the Swedish Nikita Glasnovic, who had won previously Suvi Mikkonen from Finland. Eva Calvo made it to the finals after her victory against the Iranian Alizadeh Zenoorin Kimia and the Egyptian Wahba Hedaya respectively.

 

In the repechage, Raheleh Asemani will compete against Bakkal Naima (MAR) to claim a place to the bronze medal contest.

Nikita Glasnovic, also qualified bye to the repechage, where she will face the winner between the pair of Thailand and Iran.

 
 
 
She wrote her own page on the history of European taekwondo since is the first athlete to repeat the triumph of a Gold Olympic Medal. Unstoppable, dedicated to her target, she managed to walk all the steps towards victory. Today she placed Great Britain at the first position in the Olympic ranking for the European countries! 16 to 7 the score against Eva Gomez Calvo, an athlete that she competed too many times in the past. 
 
Most of them she left defeated but this time was her battle to win. Head kicks the one after the other never left any opportunity window open for the Spanish champion. At the age of 23 Jade Jones created her on myth and for certain she has the future to achieve even greater moments in her sports career.
 
As Jones stated to the BBC:
"It feels unbelievable, I can't really explain it.
"I didn't realise how much pressure I would feel coming into this - even in the first few matches I just felt so pressured - so to pull it off... my coach is a psycho and it's all down to him. The Great British team train so hard.
"I'm still young. I'm only 23 and I'm a double Olympic champion already so it's crazy.
"Before the competition I've been crying in the sessions and you just can't see it happening because you're so stressed and training all the time.
"But I did it when it mattered and I'm buzzing."
 
This is the first GBR representative athlete competing in Rio 2016 and for sure they will have more medals to celebrate. 
 
ETU President Sakis Pragalos, stated: “My warmest congratulations to Jade Jones, a phenomenal athlete that raises the GB Taekwondo with her achievements. Congratulations to all the GB Team for the hard work. “
 

 

 

The second Day of Taekwondo at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 was successfully completed today on 18th August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the Carioca Arena 3. The European Taekwondo Union was represented the by five (5) women in the -57kg category and five (5) in the men -69kg. After a lot of surprises and numerous Europeans qualifying to the medals, the Olympic medal standings are the following: 
 
Women -57kg
1st : Jade Jones (GBR)
2nd: Eva Calvo (ESP)
3rd : Alizadeh Zenoorin Kimia (IRI)
3rd : Wahba Hedaya (EGY)
 
Men -68kg
1st : Abughaush Ahmad (JOR)
2nd : Alexey Denisenko (RUS)
3rd : Joel Gonzalez Bonilla (ESP)
3rd : Lee Dae-Hoon Dae-Hoon (KOR)
 
Jade Jones – The Golden Rule(s)
The British Olympian does it again! Leaving outside her opponents one by one, she is being recognized the supremacy of her standing. Jade competed with the Belgian Asemani Raheleh in the quarterfinals, after flawless appearance against Bakkal Naima (MAR). Passing to semifinals, she faced the young Nikita Glasnovic from Sweden, showing her superiority and moning on to the final. There, she found her familiar opponent Eva Calvo. She knew her and she knew exactly what to do to get that Gold one for the second time. That is why she went head hunting from the 1st round. She won with a mythical score of 16-7 and wrote history. Jade Jones is double Olympic Gold medalist!
 
Alexey Denisenko (RUS) – Stood tall
The Russian athlete was the one leaving Servet Tazegul out of claiming a title. Firstly, he won Contreras Edgar (VEN) and after his victory against Servet in the quarterfinals scoring 19-6, he confronted the Belgian Achab Jaouad in the semifinals. With a point gap of 6-1, Alexey got the ticket to the final, facing the talented Abughaush Ahmad from Jordan. Seeming unfocused and lost at some point, he never had the chance to chase more points and lost the match by 6-10. The Russian is now Silver Olympic Medalist!.
 
Eva Calvo (ESP) – Rio’s silver welcome!
Eva Calvo had her first presence in the Olympic Games and managed to go directly to the medals! The Spanish athlete won the silver medal after qualifying to the quarterfinals against Harnsujin Phannapa (THA), then competing with the Iranian Alizadeh Zenoorin Kimia and the Egyptian Wahba Hedaya. In the final she obviously found her lifetime taekwondo opponent Jade Jones, yet the experience of the latter, did not left her much of a space to strike back and claim more points. Eva is now silver Olympic medalist after proving that focus and strategy leads you gradually to your target. 
 
Joel Gonzalez Bonilla (ESP) – Who said that lightning never strikes twice?
Despite the fact that Joel never seemed very determined of claiming a medal in these Olympic Games, he believed it. His previous experience in London 2012 Olympic Games, his skills, his patience and ability to “read” his opponents led him gradually to the Olympic title. Gonzales Bonilla initially won the Croatian Filip Grgic and moved to the quarterfinals to face Purevjav Temuujin (MNG). Getting the ticket to the semifinals, he confronted the Jordan Abughaush Ahmad, where he did not manage to get further and lost with 12-7. Passing bye to the repechage games and after a very tactical fight against Contreras Edgar from Venezuela, Joel managed to win the bronze medal and become again an Olympic medalist during his second presence in the Olympic Games.
 
Servet Tazegul (TUR) – Glory days faded
This might have been even the biggest surprise of the day. The numerous times Turkish Champion and Gold medalist in London 2012 did not manage to make it through the medals. In the quarterfinals, he was disqualified by his opponent Alexey Denisenko (RUS), yet with the later qualifying to the finals, Servet got a place in the repachage to claim the bronze medal. There, he confronted Contreras Edgar from Venezuela where he lost and left the glory of the past behind.
 
Karol Robak (POL) – Not the time of Poland
The talented athlete moved to the quarterfinal after his victory against Dieye Balla (SEN), yet he did not manage to pass to the semifinal as the experienced Achab Jaouad from Belgium stood in his way. Unfortunatelly the Belgian did not make it to the final, so the Polish athlete never had the chance to go to the repechage.
 
Achab Jaouad (BEL) – Relentless Power
It was obvious that Achab was aiming directly for a medal. Strategic, energetic, and passionate he passed to the quarterfinals against Kassman Maximillion (PNG) and dominated the Polish Robak Karol scoring 7-9. Left behind at his fight with the Russian Alexey Denisenko during the semifinals, he confronted the Silver Olympic medalist in London 2012 Lee Dae-hoon Dae-hoon from Korea, yet despite chasing the turnover up to the last second, he did not manage to reach for the medal. Today, with Achab and Raheleh, the Belgium team closes its presence in Taekwondo. 
 
Nikita Glasnovic (SWE) – A True Viking 
Taking the qualification for the quarterfinals from the Australian Marton Caroline, Nikita went to a pure Scaninavian match with the Finnish Suvi Mikkonen. Elegantly preserving the difference of the score, she won with 4-7 and went to the semifinals to confront the Jade Jones, where she was defeated since the experience of the second was enough to widen up the score difference. Nevertheless, she made it through the repechage, facing the Iranian Alizadeh Zenoorin Kimia, but never managed to get the bronze medal. The Iranian woman won the title, making her the first Iranian female Olympic medalist.
 
Asemani Raheleh (BEL) – The dream left in Rio
The almost Olympic Refugee Team member, Raheleh, passed Carstens Carolena from Panama and confronted Jade Jones in the quarterfinals, with the latter being obviously superior. The Belgian woman lost and claimed the bronze medal through the repechage, when after her victory against the Morrocan Bakkal Naima, she faced the Egyptian Wahba Hedaya. With no score throughout the game, the match went to the golden point. The Egyptian women took by surprise Asemani, got the golden point and along with it, the bronze medal and the title of the first Egyptian female Olympic medalist.
 
Suvi Mikkonen (FIN) – Scandinavian Power
During her first match, Suvi passed the local Vasconcelos Dos Santos Julia and competed against her “neighbor” Nikita Glasnovic from Sweden. Suvi did not manage to turn the game and was left out of the repechage , since the Swedish girl claimed the place later.
 
Filip Grgic (CRO) – Never had the chance
Indeed, the Croatian athete never had the chance to prove of himself further. He was defeated right from the first fight with the Spanish Olympic Gold medalist in London 2012, Joel Gonzalez Bonilla and never made it to the repechage either, since Bonilla claimed a place and later managed to win the bronze medal as well. 
 
Ana Zaninovic – No sisters left
The second one of the Zaninovic sisters, Ana, proved misfortunate, since she lost in the first fight against the Iranian athlete. The Iranian was defeated in the round of the quarterfinals, so she did not have the opportunity to go to the repechage and claim a medal.
 
 
 
 
Having the round of 16 successfully completed during the 3rd Competition day of the Taekwondo in Rio 2016, twelve European athletes competed in the categories -67kg for women and -80kg for men. Totally, seven out of twelve European athletes qualified to the quarterfinals setting a strong European presence towards the medals. In detail, totally four Women and three Men passed to the next round.
 
The milestone match of the quarterfinals will be the one between the myth of Taekwondo from America, Steven Lopez is participating for 5th time in the Olympic Games and the British Muhammed Lutalo and both of them are targeting the higher step of the podium.  
 
Besides the Zaninovic sisters that competed the days before, today’s competitions are hosting another brother and sister. Rabia Guelec and Tahir Guelec grom Germany, in women and men category respectively prove once more that Taekwondo is a family sport.
 
While the competitions are in process, the non-qualified Baryshnikova Anastasia (RUS), Johansson Elin (SWE), Gaun Albert (RUS), Cook Aaron (MDA) and Pazinski Piotr (POL) are waiting to claim a place in the repechages. 
 
The matches of the European quarterfinalists for the next phase for the -80kg men category are:
Muhammed Lutato (GBR) VS Steven Lopez (USA)
Beigi Harchgani Milad (AZE) VS Khodabakhshi Mahdi (IRI)
Guelec Tahir (GER) VS Cisse Cheick Sallah Junior (CIV)
 
Women -67kg
Tatar Nur (TUR) VS Rabia Guelec (GER)
Haby Niare (FRA) VS Gbagbiruth Marie Christelle (CIV)
Farida Azizova (AZE) VS Tursunkulova Nigora (UZB)
 
 
 

 

 
Suspense has been rising as we are heading towards the finals of the third competition day for Taekwondo inside Arena Carioca 3, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two weight categories are -80kg Men and -67kg Women. In total, three European athletes will compete to the finals, claiming the Olympic dream.
 
Quarterfinal
Men
During the round of the quarterfinals, the head hunter Muhammed Lutalo (GBR) qualified to the next round after his victory against the triple Olympic medalist Steven Lopez (USA) and went to the semifinals to face the Azerbaijani Beigi Harchgani Milad who swept his quarterfinal Iranian opponent Khodabakhshi Mahdi.
Women
Nur Tatar (TUR) got the victory against the German Rabia Guelec and along with it, got one step closer to the medals. Haby Niare (FRA) scored 5-4 against Gbagbi Ruth Marie Christelle (CIV) and passed to the semifinals, where she confronted Farida Azizova from Ajerbaijan, who elegantly took the match in the same round against the 17-year-old Tursunkulova Nigora from Uzbekistan.
 
Semifinal
Lutalo Muhammed (GBR), after a spectacular game against his Azerbajaini opponent, won a place to the finals.
In the women category, the 23-year-old Haby Niare from France, took the qualification ticket to the final match and will have the chance to claim the top of the podium, giving her country the chance to win its first gold Olympic medal in the sport of Taekwondo.
 
Repechage
In the repechage round, the matches after the semifinals for the European athletes are scheduled as following:
Piotr Pazinski (POL) VS Tahir Guelec (GER)
The winner of the match will qualify to the next round and will compete with the Azerbaijani Beigi Harchgani Milad for the bronze medal.
As for women, Farida Azizova (AZE) will face the winner of the match between the Ivory Coast and Haiti.
The Turkish Tatar Nur is also passing bye to the repechage final round confronting the qualifier of the competition match between Canada and Chinese Taipei.
 
FINALS
The final competitions according to the category are:
 
Men -80kg
Lutalo Muhammad (GBR) VS Cisse Cheick Sallah Junior (CIV)
 
Women -67kg 
Haby Niare (FRA) VS Oh Hyeri (KOR)
 

 

What a day!
 
The surprises are still on fire and no one can forecast anything in Rio 2016. Taekwondo is spreading the Olympic medals in countries and the one record meets the other.  
 
Muhammad Lutalo (GRB) -80kg – Lost the Gold in a blink of an eye!
Muhammad made sure that everyone would understand that he was on his way to the gold. Indeed, that was the situation up until the last second of that final match with the Ivorian Cisse Cheick. Just in that flash of second the Ivorian scored his final three points, turned the score and got the gold medal. For the record, let us not forget to mention that the Ivorian’s Gold medal is the first Olympic gold medal in the history of Ivory Coast.
Lutalo who performed amazingly every one of his matches, leaving outside the taekwondo myth Steven Lopez and the skillful Azerbaijani Beigi – who eventually won the bronze medal – was so close to the ultimate dream of every athlete, but in the end he changed its color. Muhammad Lutalo is Silver Olympic medalist and Great Britain strikes two out of two medals up to now and claims at the second place on the Rio 2016 Taekwondo Medal Ranking. 
 
Beigi Harchgani Milad (AZE) – He made it !
The bronze medal was the least he deserved! The Azerbaijani athlete showed his high taekwondo skills and made it all the way to the podium. Leaving outside his opponent from Mali in the round of 16, he made an amazing appearance against the Iranian Khodabakhshi Mahdi and qualified to the semifinals. Yet, his opponent there was Lutalo Muhammad. After a spectacular match, the latter claimed the qualification. Milad passed bye to the repechage and faced the Polish Piotr Pazinski, showed once again his athletic qualifications and got the valuable medal after the crucial match. Milad is the first male Olympic taekwondo medalist for the country of Azerbaijan. 
 
FINAL RESULTS 
 
-80kg Men 
1) Cisse Cheick Sallah Junior (CIV) 
2) Muhammad Lutalo (GBR)
3) Beigi Harchgani Milad (AZE)
3) Oueslati Oussama (TUN)
 
Haby Niare (FRA) -67kg – Because she believed
Haby had a goal. The Olympic medal. She fought hard, with passion and determination and that lead her to the silver. Qualified to the quarterfinals against her opponent from Haiti, she found Gbagbi Christelle from the Ivory Coast. After a thrilling match she got herself to the semifinals to compete with the well prepared Nur Tatar from Turkey. That is when it seemed that Haby believed it and managed to get the victory in the last seconds. In the final round she stood before the Korean Oh Heyri and chased the top until the end. With a final score 12-13 she delivered an amazing fight! 
 
Nur Tatar (TUR) – Turkey’s only hope
After Servet Tazegul was left outside the medals, Tatar was the only hope for Turkey, which has quite a big collection of Taekwondo medals. Tatar qualified easily to the quarterfinals against Marton Carmen (AUS) and confronted the German Rabia Guelec. Being more focused, she managed to win the match and move on to the semifinals to compete with the French Haby Niare. Then, she fell behind and did not manage to qualify, yet she fought in the repechage against the Chinese Taipei representative and after thrilling match she made it and won the bronze medal, adding this way to Turkey another Olympic title.
 
FINAL RESULTS 
-68kg Women
1) OH Hyen (KOR)
2) Niare Haby (FRA)
3) Tatar Nur (TUR)
3) Gbagbi Ruth Marie Christelle (CIV) 
 
 
THE BIG SURPRISE OF THE DAY
 
Aaron Cook (MDA) – well cook-ed
There a quote saying: No expectations, no disappointments. The truth is that Aaron had created a lot of expectations around these Olympic Games. The buzz that had been created around his name, may indeed made the pressure for qualification too much to handle. Therefore, the fact that he lost from the skillful Liu Wei-Ting from Chinese Taipei from the first match, never gave him the chance to continue to the repechage and claim the bronze medal.  Cook admitted in Daily Mail that he was devastated and could not explain what happened:'I felt really good this morning in training,' he said. 'I just feel like I've let everyone down after everything I sacrificed.'
 
 
 
ALL THE REST EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVES IN RIO 2016 
 
Piotr Pazinski (POL) – Not that polished
Despite the fact that Piotr did not qualify even in the quarterfinals, he got his second chance. His first opponent from Ivory Coast, Cisse Cheick, qualified all the way to the semifinals, so he drew Piotr to the repechage. There, he faced the German Tahir Guelec and got the dream of an Olympic medal one step closer – just one - since afterwards he was stopped by the Azerbaijani who won the bronze medal eventually. Piotr recognized the superiority of his opponent, rising the latter’s hand high after the match was over.
 
Tahir Guelec (GER) - Auf wiedersehen
Tahir qualified to the quarterfinals, yet there, he lost from Cisse Cheick from (CIV). His expectations bloomed once more, when he got to the repechage. Unfortunately not for much, since he was stopped by the Polish Pazinski.
 
Albert Gaun (RUS) – Wore the invisible gown
The Russian athlete did not show much of his potential, since he lost from the experienced and familiar in the Olympic Games American, Steven Lopez, in the round of 16. Steven Lopez claimed later a place in the repechage, leaving Gaun almost invisible in these Olympic Games.
 
Farida Azizova (AZE) - Remember her name
Farida did not manage to get herself to the medals, despite her skillset exhibition throughout her matches. She passed bye to the repechage by her loss in the semifinals by the Korean Olympian, yet she lost by the Ivorian Gbagbi. Her potential throughout the competition were more than obvious, proving that she has a long way ahead for Taekwondo glory.
 
Rabia Guelec (GER) – Gave her best but didn't make it !
The German athlete made it up until the quarterfinal round qualifying against Baryshnikova, yet afterwards, she was stopped by Nur Tatar who finally got the bronze medal, hence she never made it to the repechage round.
 
Johansson Elin (SWE) –  Not that superior indeed
Competing with the young Uzbek Tursunkulova Nigora in the round of 16, the match got to the golden point. After no scoring at all, and since the time had been completed, the Uzbek girl won the match by superiority and thus left Johansson no chance to move on, not even in the repechage.
 
Baryshnikova Anastasiia (RUS) – Hit the wall
The talented Russian athlete ended her journey in Rio 2016 too early. She got by surprise in her first match competing with Rabia Guelec (GER) and never had the chance to show her taekwondo skills, since Rabia did not qualify later and thus claimed a place in the repechage.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Having the round of 16 successfully completed during the 4th and final competition day of the Taekwondo in the Olympic Games of Rio, overall nine European athletes competed in the categories +67kg for women and +80kg for men. Totally, six out of nine European athletes qualified to the quarterfinals, getting for another day the European Taekwondo closer to the medal standings. In detail, totally four women and two men passed to the next round.
 
What you will see:
- The Serbian Milica Mandic, Gold Olympic Medalist in London 2012 trying to preserve her Olympic title.
- Azerbaijan will fight for a third Olympic medal with Isaev Radik.
- The rest GB Taekwondo team will try to claim two more Olympic medals with Mahama Cho and Bianca Walkden in men and women category respectively.
 
The Belarusian and Double European Champion in 2014 and 2016 Arman-Marshall Silla was disqualified from competing in Rio 2016, since he never showed up in the weigh-in of the teams.
 
While the competitions are in process, the non-qualified N Diaye M Bar (FRA) and Tina Skaar (NOR) are waiting to claim a place in the repechage. 
 
The matches of the European quarterfinalists for the next phase for the +80kg men category are:
Mardani Sajjad (IRI) VS Mahama Cho (GBR)
Dongmin Cha (KOR) VS Radik Isaev (AZE)
 
Women +67kg
Weekes Crystal Birthany (USA) VS Reshimie Oogink
Zheng Shuyin (CHN) VS Gwladys Epangue (FRA)
Milica Mandic (SRB) VS Bianca Walkden (GBR) 
 
 
 

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