Thailand, Iran, Chinese Taipei split taekwondo titles at Universiade 2007-08-11 12:17:06   Print

    By sportswriter Wu Chen

    BANGKOK, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Players from the host nation, Iran and Chinese Taipei grabbed a taekwondo gold each on Friday at the Bangkok Universiade.

    Defending Champion Patiwat Thongsalap gifted the host nation first gold in taekwondo competitions at the Universide after defeating his old rival Alireza Nassrazadany of Iran.

    Nataphol Teepsuwan, secretary general of the Taekwondo Association of Thailand said Patiwat's achievement at the Universiade would be helpful for him to get qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    "The Olympics is the highest-level competition in the world. I would like to go," said determined Patiwat.

    Patiwat had won the first taekwondo gold medal for Thailand at the 2005 World University Games in Turkey, which was the first-ever gold of Thai players at Universiades.

    He contributed today's victory to good luck as he had a tough start yet managed to win with 5-3 finally.

    However, another Universiade defending champion Sibel Guler from Turkey was not as lucky as him. Guler was defeated by a new comer to the Universiade, Lin An-ni from Chinese Taipei in the women's 67kg category.

    The gold Lin grabbed was the first one for Chinese Taipei delegation at the Bangkok Universiade.

    "It's an unexpected gold and it's an honor for me to win the first gold for our delegation," Lin told Xinhua after the match, adding that she hoped the other players of Chinese Taipei would also make good performance at the Universiade.

    Her teammate Hung Chun-an ended the men's 78kg class with a bronze medal and the gold went to Rouholla Talebi Kahangi of Iran.

    The second day's taekwondo competitions for the Chinese delegation turned out to be a complete failure as all the three players were kept out of the semi-finals.

    Li Tengfei and Mao Haiwei failed their first rounds in the men's 72 kg and 78kg divisions respectively and Guo Qi was eliminated in the quarterfinal.

    Taekwondo powerhouse South Korea also came across a waterloo on Friday, as the team finished competitions with a single silver medal, following Thursday's triumph of three golds.

Editor: Wang Yan
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