Teenagers cause upsets on first day of taekwondo tournament
CHIBA, Japan— A pair of little-known teenage taekwondo fighters defeated gold medal contenders on the first day of the Tokyo Games tournament on Saturday, highlighted by Spaniard Adriana Cerezo Iglesias’ upset of China’s two-time Olympic champion Wu Jingyu.
Even with form hard to judge coming into the Games with most international competitions wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cerezo Iglesias’s win over the 34-year-old Wu in the women’s -49kg event was a massive shock.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said 17-year-old Cerezo Iglesias, who was leading 33-2 at the end of two rounds and won by ‘point gap’. “She’s one of my idols so I was really excited to fight her, and I’m so happy I could win like that.
“I just focused on myself and how I was going to fight. I didn’t ever think I could win that way. But a lot of things can happen here. Nothing is impossible.”
Cerezo Iglesias will face Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit in the -49kg final.
In the men’s -58kg category, Tunisian 19-year-old Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi looks set to be minted as the next “one-to-watch” after breezing to a surprise victory over Solomon Demse in the quarter-finals with a 23-point gap.
The teenager then went on to beat top-ranked gold medal favorite Jang Jun of South Korea 25-19 to reach the final.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.