Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2019

Africa Missing on Medals Podium as World Taekwondo Champions ends in Manchester

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Cuba’s Rafael Alba receiving his Gold medal alongside Carlos Sansores of Mexico, Maicon Sequeira of Brazil and Hamza Kattan of Jordan Photo Credit: World Taekwondo

By Amaechi Agbo

The Republic of Korea emerged as overall Champions at the just concluded World Taekwondo Champions, which held in Manchester between 14 and 19 May 2019.
No African country made it to the medals Podium, as the continents of Asia, Europe and the Americas dominated the games.
Korea became overall winners with four gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals, followed by host Great Britain with three gold medals and one bronze. Republic of China came in third position with two gold, two silver and three bronze while Thailand came was in fourth position with two gold medals and one bronze medal.
Other countries that got gold medals include Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Italy and Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Iran, Jordan, Croatia, Brazil, Canada, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Greece, Argentina, Latvia, Dominica Republic, Germany, Kazakhstan, Portugal and France.
On day two, South Korea’s Jae-Young Sim, Jun Jang and Da-Bin Lee won gold in the women’s -46kg, men’s -58kg and women’s -73kg respectively. The silver medals were shared between Iran and Mexico.
On day three, Bianca Walkden and Bradly Sinden of Great Britain won the women’s +73kg and men’s -68kg respectively with Jun-Seo Bae winning gold in the men’s -54kg. The silver medals were won by China, Russia and Spain.
On day four, Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit and Italy’s Simone Alessio won gold in the women’s -49kg and men’s -74kg respectively, with Great Britain’s Jade Jones winning her first ever World Championship in the women’s -57kg. The silver medals were won by Jordan, China and Korea.
Great Britain’s Bradly Sinden and Italy’s Simone Alessio thus become the first males to win a Senior World Championship medal for their respective Taekwondo Powerhouse nations.
A record 927 athletes from 145 countries plus 1 refugee team registered to compete at this year’s Championships making it the largest by numbers in the sport’s history.
The Men MVP Award went to Jun Jang of South Korea who competed in the Male -58kg category, while the Women MVP Award went to Jade Jones of Great Britain who competed in the Female -57kg.
Korea won the Best Men and Best Women Team Award, having topped both medal table to re-establish the nation as the top taekwondo country in the world.
Best Male Team Coach award went to Claudio Nolano of Italy while the Best Woman Team Coach award went to Lee Change Geon of Korea.
China’s Zhu Linfang was awarded the Best Women Referee Award while the Best Men Referee Award went to Srtefan Raileanu of Moldova.
Canada was given the Best Fighting Spirit Award while the Active Participation Award went to Brazil.
Medallists at the World Taekwondo Championships will have a huge points rewards, which would boost their chances towards qualifying automatically for the for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the top six Olympic-ranked athletes earn automatic qualifying slots.

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