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8th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships Open in Mexico

2010-03-09 12:11:00 WTF

Mar 8, 2010 - The 8th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships kicked off in Tijuana, Mexico on March 6, 2010 for a four-day run, drawing a total of 696 athletes, including 300 females, from a record 97 countries.

The biennial event takes place at the Multi-Purpose Gymnasium at the High Performance Sports Center of Baja California.

Among the participating nations are Algeria, Ghana, Mali, Afghanistan, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Georgia, Monaco, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Guam and French Polynesia.

The previous World Junior Championships held in Izmir, Turkey in May 2008 drew athletes from 80 countries, compared with 73 countries at the 6th World Junior Championships in Vietnam in July 2006.

The opening day of the four-day event featured five weight categories: the men’s -55kg, the men’s +78kg, the women’s -49kg, the women’s -68kg and the women’s +68kg.

China won two gold medals on the opening day, while Iran, Puerto Rico and Azerbaijan clinched one gold each.

Puerto Rico’s Myrilan Vargas brushed aside a stiff challenge from Jordan’s Dana Touran to win the gold medal in the women’s -49kg weight division. The bronze went to Chinese Taipei’s Chia Ying Lin and Japan’s Mayu Hamada.

In the women’s -68kg weight category, China’s Zheng Shuyin won the gold medal as she defeated Korea’s Na Ye Seok in the division’s final match. The bronze was shared by the Netherlands’ Akdeniz Aylin and Sweden’s Kristina Pella.

In the women’s +68kg category, China’s Fei Lulu crushed Turkey’s Nafia Kus in the final match to earn her country the second gold medal on the opening day of the World Junior Championships. Greece’s Christidou Grammatiki and Croatia’s Rados Mia clinched the bronze medal each in the division.

In the men’s -55kg final match, Iran’s Rezaei Kaveh came from behind to beat Cuba’s Jose Cobas Del for the gold medal. Thailand’s Kiatakamolwong Peeradol and the United States’ Seth Wolfe each clinched the bronze medal in the division.

Azerbaijan’s Aydin Bahmalov won the gold medal as he beat Jordan’s Yazan Alsadeq in the final match of the men’s +78kg weight category. The bronze went to Korea’s Young Keun Kim and Chinese Taipei’s Tsung Han Cho.

In the afternoon, there was an opening ceremony of the World Junior Championships.

The opening ceremony drew Gov. Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan of Baja California; Mayor Jorge Ramos Hernandez of the city of Tijuana; Mr. Juan Manuel Lopez Delgado, president of the Mexican Taekwondo Federation.

“This event provides the highest level of competition. The best young athletes of taekwondo from around the world are here sharing in one sport, but with a thousand dreams,” said Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federaion in his speech during the opening ceremony.

Dr. Choue said, “We all know of the terrible events that took place in Haiti and Chile and are saddened that these teams were unable to join us. However, our goal of taekwondo being a great influence on the lives of our young athletes is coming true.”

“Through our sport, we are able to reach out to those in need, like Haiti and Chile. Our youth see this and they learn how to contribute to the world and build friendships,” he said. “We come together in the spirit of friendship, competition, and true compassion for each other. You can see this every time these young athletes shake hands at the end of each match.”

He said, “We just completed the WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, and have selected those who will compete in Singapore this summer.”“The first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore are the result of the International Olympic Committee’s goal of promoting youth through sport. The WTF has long shared this same goal and it will not stop her in Tijuana or in Singapore.”

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