Asia on top at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships
03 July, 2017 (13:50)
The sport of Taekwondo returned home to its birthplace when the Korean city of Muju hosted the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships from 24-30 June.
While the host nation sparkled with five gold, one silver and four bronze medals to top the medal charts, the event provided a timely check on the form of Asia’s other top Taekwondo fighters ahead of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games taking place in Ashgabat from 17–27 September.
The Turkmenistan team gained some valuable international experience as they prepare to host the continent’s best in just over two months, and a number of other Asian nations showed that their fighters are rubbing shoulders with the world’s elite by winning medals in Muju.
Turkmenistan sent five men and a woman to the tournament which saw 30 countries medal, underlining the sport’s global strength.
Winning a medal or even reaching a top-eight position was a tough proposition for the young Turkmen team which saw Serdar Gurtgeldiyev first to step on the tatami in the -54kg category to face Greece’s Dionysios Rapsomanikis. The final outcome was not in Gurtgeldiyev’s favour, nevertheless the 18-year-old put on a brave performance.
After winning silver at the WTF Bangkok International tournament last October, Muhammed Roziyev (-58kg) fell to the talented Al-Mostafa Sayed of Sudan, before 20-year-old Aleksandr Kuvarzin finished only his second top-tier competition in defeat against Moldova’s Serghei Uscov.
Jelaletdin Batyrov, second at the 5th International WTF Fujairah Open in February, lost to Sudan’s Abdalaziz Abdalla, while Polat Bayramov (-74kg) was defeated by Mongolia’s Achitkhüügiin Natsagdorj.
Turkmenistan’s sole female representative and most recognisable taekwondo figure, 21-year-old Selbi Kichigulova (-53kg), fell to India’s Latika Bhandari.
The World Championships showed that Ashgabat 2017 can expect a world-class field for their Taekwondo event which will be held over five consecutive days starting from September 18 at the Taekwondo DanceSport Arena.
As well as Korea’s 10-medal haul, China won one gold and three bronze medals, Iran collected three silver and one bronze, Thailand won one silver and two bronze, Uzbekistan collected one silver and one bronze, and there was a medal apiece for Chinese Taipei (silver), Vietnam (silver), Jordan (bronze) and Kazakhstan (bronze).
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