Iran moving up in Para taekwondo

Fighters rewarded in August rankings after dominating Asian Open. 07 Aug 2017
Mahdi Pourrahnamaahmad - Taekwondo

Iran's Mahdi Pourrahnamaahmad is the man everyone is chasing in the middleweight division

ⒸWorld Taekwondo Federation
By Lee Reaney, World Taekwondo and IPC

Iran’s fighters have moved up the world Para taekwondo rankings after winning four gold medals at the 2017 World Taekwondo (WT) Asian Para Taekwondo Open in Chuncheon, South Korea.

The Asian Open is a G4/G2 event, allowing athletes the opportunity to earn double ranking points in their home event. World champion and No.1 Mahdi Pourrahnamaahmad took advantage of that, winning his third straight Asian Open title to remain top of his class in the men’s under 75kg K44. The Iranian has also increased his lead over Russia’s Vitali Nazarenko* to 127.41 points.

Fellow Iranian Asghar Aziaghdam (men’s over 75kg K44) moves up three places to No.2 in the world after winning his second Asian Open. Croatia’s Ivan Mikulic remains top of the rankings.

Ahmad Narimani’s Asian Open win in the men’s over 75kg K42 saw him move up to third in the world, while Saeid Sadeghianpour’s back-to-back titles extended his No.1 ranking in the men’s under 61kg K42 to 45.4 points.

Mongolia strengthen lead

It was not just Iran that received a rankings boost from the Asian Open results. Mongolia’s two-time world champion and world No. 1 Bolor-Erdene Ganbat has increased his rankings lead to 76.6 points over Russia’s Askhat Akmatov*. That’s after he won his third straight Asian title in the men’s under 61kg K44.

In the women’s rankings Mongolia’s Enkhtuya Khrelbaatar moved up a place to No.3 after defeating world No.1 Bursa Gor on a sudden death ‘golden point’ in the women’s under 49kg K44.

Worlds hosts show potential

Great Britain received a boost ahead of hosting the 2017 World Championships, with their most popular Para taekwondo star, Amy Truesdale, becoming world No.1 in the women’s over 58kg K44 after winning Asian Open gold.

Other British fighters to get their first taste of international action before the World Championships included Joseph Lane (men’s under 75kg K44), Matt Bush (men’s over 75kg K44), and Leif Thobroe (men’s under 61kg K42).

The Pan American Open on 29 August in San Jose, Costa Rica, is the last opportunity for athletes to gain rankings points before October’s World Championships.

The full August rankings can be found on World Taekwondo’ s website.

*Editor’s note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games. For further information please click here