Iran, Russia kick start taekwondo season strong

Iranian world champion Mahdi Pourrahnama bests Russia’s Vitalli Nazarenko for first win of season. 21 Apr 2016
A taekwondo athlete kicks her female opponent

Nepal's Ranjana Dhami (L) and Mongolia's Enkhtuya Khurelbaatar are two of the key names in the women's K44/43

ⒸWorld Taekwondo

Iran and Russia got their seasons off to a strong start, topping the medals table at the 2nd Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships, which concluded on Monday (18 April) in Manila, Philippines. It was the first of five Continental Para-Taekwondo Open Championships of the year.

Russia came away with 12 medals (four golds, three silvers and five bronzes), followed by Iran with seven (three golds, three silvers and a bronze), and then Mongolia (two golds, two silvers and a bronze).

Iran was triumphant in the men’s K44 up to 75kg, with reigning world champion and No. 1 Mahdi Pourrahnama taking the gold after defeating Russia’s Vitalii Nazarenko 6-3. Iran also saw victories in the men’s K42 up to 61kg and K42 up to 75kg; Saeid Sadeghianpour got the best of Mongolia’s Shinebayar Batbayar (9-6), and Mahmoud Jafarzadeh had no trouble in his bout with Russian Lukman-Khakim Istamulov (12-3), respectively.

Russia’s athletes won golds in the men’s K41 up to 61kg, K41 over 75kg, women’s K44 up to 58kg, and men’s K44 over 75kg.

It was an all-Russian final in the women’s K44 up to 58kg, as Ramazanova Ayshat edged teammate Salimgereeva Mariyam 4-2. Zainutdin Ataev cruised in his finals against Iran’s Mohsen Abdi Sartang in the men’s K44 over 75kg, 10-1.

Gazzaev Sparktak and Vladislav Krichfalushiy topped the podiums in the men’s K41 up to 61kg and K41 over 75kg, respectively.

Mongolian Khurelbaatar Enkhtuya was untouchable in her finals against Nepal’s Dhami Ranjana 9-0 in the women’s K44 up to 49kg. Reigning world champion teammate Bolor-Erdene Ganbat added another gold to his country’s count with victory over Iran’s Sajjad Javanbakht 15-3 in the men’s K44 up to 61kg.

France also left with double golds, thanks to Bopha Kong’s triumph in the men’s K43 up to 61. Teammate Laura Schiel put on an interesting battle with Great Britain’s Amy Truesdale, leaving with the 4-2 victory in the women’s K44 over 58kg.

Nyshan Omirali took gold for Kazakhstan in the men’s K42 over 75kg, defeating Iran’s Ahmad Narimani 5-2.

The 2nd Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships were open to participants all around the world as part of the World Taekwondo Federation’s (WTF) commitment in providing athletes with regular access to world-class competitions. Athletes from Asia at the Championships secured twice as many ranking points as participants from other continents, as Asian athletes were awarded G4 world ranking points while non-Asian athletes will be awarded G2 points. Thus, a first placed athlete earned 40 points if he or she is from Asia and 20 points if he or she is from another continent. The world rankings will form part of the qualification process for taekwondo athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The next Continental Championships to take place will be the first ever African Para-Taekwondo Championships and will be held on 22 May in Egypt.