Olympics: Teenagers cause upsets on first day of taekwondo tournament

CHIBA (REUTERS) – A pair of little-known teenage taekwondo fighters defeated gold medal contenders on the first day of the Tokyo Games tournament on Saturday (July 24), 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’ win over the 34-year-old Wu in the women’s Under-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 final.

In the men’s Under-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 favourite Jang Jun of South Korea 25-19 to reach the final.

He will meet Italy’s Vito Dell’Aquila in the gold-medal match.

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