Thrilling climax as Aboufaras and Khosravi seal taekwondo golds
Morocco’s Fátima-Ezzahra Aboufaras and Iran’s Mohammadali Khosravi picked up the last two gold medals of the taekwondo competition, the women’s 63kg and men’s 73kg categories respectively, on day five at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
In the women’s category, Aboufaras, who had a bye into the first round thanks to her excellent position in the rankings, enjoyed a comfortable path in her first two fights and continued to dominate when it mattered most inside the Oceania Pavilion.
In the quarter finals, she beat Poland’s Marcelina Marta Koszel 20-4 to progress to the last four, in which she defeated China’s Wenzhe Mu 17-2.
In the decisive event, the 16-year-old Moroccan had to work very hard to defeat Iran’s Kimia Hemati, but she edged a thrilling encounter 18-16 to take gold. Russia’s Kristina Adebaio, and Mu both collected bronze medals and joined Aboufaras and Hemati on the podium.
I am very happy because Morocco needed this medal. Fatima-Ezzahra ABOUFARAS Morocco - Fatima-Ezzahra ABOUFARAS Morocco
“I’ve been training for a long time to win this gold, even here in Buenos Aires. My coach is like a father to me. When I won, my first thoughts were for him."
In the men’s 73kg category, Iran’s Mohammadali Khosravi defeated Chinese Taipei’s Meng-En Lee 2-1 in what was an extremely close and hard-fought encounter.
The Iranian had found things slightly easier in the quarter finals, beating Slovenian Nik Augustin (16-11), but he had to dig deep in his semi-final match-up against Afghan competitor Nisar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, winning narrowly, 19-16, to seal his place in the gold medal contest.
"I’ve been training very hard and I think I deserved to win the tournament,” said Khosravi. “Iran is a big power in this sport, even in the women’s category, because the women work with us and they raise their standards even higher than us. It was a very difficult fight. I am very happy I won.
Khosravi shared the podium with Lee, Canada’s Ethan McClymon, and Abdul Rahimza.