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Thursday, August 26, 2004
Cuba, Mexico claim silvers

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Taiwan won its first gold medal Thursday in taekwondo, then had to wait only a few minutes more for another.

Shih Hsin Chen won her 49-kilogram match for the breakthrough, aware as the seconds counted down that a lot was at stake.

"I know that this is our first gold medal and I'm very proud of it," said Chen, who beat Yanelis Yuliet Labrada of Cuba. "It means a lot to me and my family."

About 15 minutes later, Mu Yen Chu won another gold medal in the men's 58-kilogram division.

After Chu beat Oscar Francisco Salazar of Mexico, he walked around the mat displaying the special white flag that Taiwan has used at the Olympics since 1980 under an IOC resolution.

As a concession to China, Taiwan participates at the Olympics under the name "Chinese Taipei." China claims the self-ruled island is part of its territory and has sought to bar its international exposure. The sides split amid civil war in 1949.