Taekwondo: Hosts Relieved with Golds, Chinese Taipei Cheerful on First
2003-8-23 23:10:42      Xinhua
The South Koreans' disappointment for missing the first gold at the 22nd World University Games was relieved Saturday, with their teams wrapping up three taekwondo golds out of a total of four.

The capacity home crowd burst into cheers and ovation, when their woman taekwondist grabbed Saturday's first gold on welter weight (-67kg), and were even more frenzied after Kim Hak-hwan beat Iran's Ali Tajik 16-14 to seal a three-gold victory.

Ibone Lallana of Spain took silver on women's -67kg.

British Sarah Bainbridge and Luttikhuis Oude of the Netherlands picked up bronzes.

Jang Eun-suk won women's fly weight (-51kg) for the hosts.

The highly-anticipated first gold on men's lightweight (-72kg) went to Italian star Carlo Molfetta on Friday.

Coached by a SouthKorean, the 2001 world taekwondo championships runner-up ended thepre-match home favorite Cha Ba-ro's hopes 14-11 in a preliminary round and went on to thrash Ukrainian Petro Davydov 7-3 in the final.

On Saturday's night, the Chinese Taipei team posed a strong stance and three of their four athletes surged into the semifinalsand ended up with a gold, a silver and a bronze.

To their greatest joy, Chu Mu-yen, the 2002 Busan Asiad silver medalist embraced their first gold at the Universiade on men's flyweight (-58kg).

The senior college student seemed restrained after his triumph and said it was not an unexpected result although it was a real big challenge to overcome Lee Chang-soo of South Korea in a preliminary round.

He eased through the final 3-0 over Dincsalman Kivanc of Turkey,who gave up after two rounds due to an injury.

Ludovic Vo of France and Soheil Molana of Iran shared the bronze.

"My next goal is world championships," Chu said.

He also topped the 2001 World Cup held in Vietnam.

"We expect at least two golds on taekwondon at Daegu," said Tsai Ming-chih, Chinese Taipei's head coach. "And with 11 events to go, we have a big chance to achieve the goal."

Their woman taekwondist Wu Yen-ni added a sliver, losing to Jang on -51kg final.Spanish Jennifer Delgado and Ya Boorapolchaifrom Thailand picked up bronzes.

Chinese Taipei's Liao Chia-Hsing was joint third with Tomislav Bucanac of Croatia on men's -78kg.

The cheering squad for Chinese Taipei, consisting of other members of the delegation, were the only one able to compete with the home spectators.

Packed in a small corner of the gymnasium, they clapped and yelled "Taipei, Taipei, Chinese Taipei" as each of their four athletes stepped on court.

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