Wednesday, August 8, 2012
China, Spain win in taekwondo
LONDON -- Wu Jingyu is on top once again.
The Chinese fighter kicked off the taekwondo competition at the London Games with another gold medal in the women's 48-kilogram division, dominating Spain's Brigitte Yague in an 8-1 victory in the final.
"I am very happy to have this second medal," she said. "It feels like my reward."
Spain's Joel Gonzalez won the men's 58-kg category, beating South Korea's Lee Dae-hoon 17-8 to secure his first Olympic medal.
The 25-year-old Wu was in top form, winning three matches so decisively they ended early after she racked up at least a 12-point lead. Taekwondo fights are automatically stopped if one fighter is 12 points ahead because the gap is considered too big to close.
Wu was in control of the final throughout, using her flexibility to kick Yague repeatedly from close range. The top-ranked Wu also won a gold medal at the Beijing Games.
"She's become much stronger since Beijing," Yague said. "It was difficult to try to predict where she might be kicking us."
After losing 14-0 to Wu in the quarterfinals, Japan's Erika Kasahara said there wasn't much she -- or anyone else -- could to stop the defending champion.
"She was just too strong," Kasahara said.
The bronze medals went to Thailand's Chanatip Sonkham and Croatia's Lucija Zaninovic.
World No. 1 Gonzalez beat Lee in an action-packed final. Though Lee was more often on the attack, Gonzalez managed to block most of his kicks while effectively counterattacking with head shots.
The 22-year-old Gonzalez fought aggressively in most of his matches, often using his front leg for targeted attacks.
"I did what I know how to do," he said. "I feel amazing."
The bronze medals were won by Alexey Denisenko and Colombia's Oscar Munoz Oviedo.