The second day of action at the Paris 2022 Grand Prix taekwondo event at the Parc des sports Marcel-Cerdan Olympic bronze medallist Ruth Gbagbi of the Ivory Coast dominated her contest with South Korea’s Min-seo Nam to win the women’s -67kg category in the first of three finals on Saturday evening. Gbagbi won the first two rounds of the bout to earn her place at the top of the podium.
In the next fight, Spain’s Javier Perez Polo made early inroads in his -68kg clash with Zaid Kareem of Jordan but had some nervous moments in the second round. World silver medallist Perez Polo managed to keep his cool to secure the victory.
The main bout between Richard Andre Ordemann of Norway and Italian ace Simone Alessio turned into a tit-for-tat battle in the men’s -80kg category.
Andre Ordemann looked set for a spot at the top of the podium before the former world under-74kg champion Alessio surged into contention in the second round before clinching the title in the third and deciding round.
Earlier Croatia’s Matea Jelic, the first taekwondo athlete from Croatia to take home gold, went down at her first hurdle, the round of 16 in the women’s -67kg. She lost to Pan American Games junior champion Leslie Sotero of Mexico 1-2.
Britain’s Lauren Williams, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist was also knocked out in the round of 16 by Jan-di-Kim from South Korea. Williams had earlier gone past Chinese Jie Song in her first match of the day.
The Grand Prix in Paris is being played in the best of three rounds format which was introduced at the Roma 2022 Grand Prix.
The winners of the Grand Prix will achieve ranking points for qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Paris 2022 World Taekwondo Grand Prix action ends on Sunday, September 4 with the women’s +67kg and men’s +80kg categories.
You can catch all the action live from Paris on the Olympic Channel via Olympics.com (territorial restrictions apply)