Turkish women leave mark on tatami in South Korea
MUJU COUNTY, South KoreaTwo Turkish female athletes have left their marks on the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea, winning rare gold medals, as others are continuing their bid for medals.
Nineteen-year-old Turkish competitor Zeliha Ağrıs defeated her Russian opponent to bag the gold in the women’s 53-kg category at the tournament on June 28.
The championships, held in Muju County, South Korea from June 24 to July 3, saw Ağrıs claim her first gold medal by defeating Tatiana Kudashova 11-8 in a gold medal match.
Ağrıs advanced to the final match after beating her Uzbek opponent Dinorahon Mamadibragimova 11-7 in the semifinals.
The win was a big step for Ağrıs en route to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Ağrıs had lost to Kudashova in the final game last year.
The women’s bantamweight category in the championships limits players to a maximum of 53 kilograms in body mass.
Her medal came one day after Nur Tatar Askari, another Turkish athlete, took the gold medal in women’s under-67-kg category.
A bronze medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Askari defeated her U.S. opponent Paige McPherson in the women’s under-67 kg final.
She won a very tight game, with the first round ending with a pointless draw. Askari was 2-1 behind before the third round, but she managed to achieve a 6-4 win thanks to an attacking style.
Hatice Kübra İlgün competing in the 57-kg category consequently beat Kenyan Mary Muriu’yu, Latvian Jolanta Tarvida, German Anna Lena Froemming and Portuguese Joana Cunha, securing a spot in the semi-finals. She will face Swedish athlete Nikita Glasnovic on June 30.
İrem Yaman in the women’s 62-kg category and Yunus Sarı in men’s 80-kg category will also hit the tatami on June 30, the final day of the tournament, for medals.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has congratulated the two Turkish gold medalists, his office said in a statement on June 28.
Four other Turkish athletes, Sude Bulut in the 73-kg category, Serdar Yüksel in +87 kg, Hasan Can Lazoğlu in 87 kg and Hakan Reçber in 63 kg have been eliminated.