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Khodadad, Karami hand Iran world taekwondo silver, bronze

Madrid, April 15, IRNA-Behzad Khodadad and Youssef Karami from Iran won one silver and one bronze in the 17th World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid on Thursday.

In 58 kg, Khodadad lost to his South Korean opponent 9-7 in the final, standing second.

The Iranian representative had already defeated players from Thailand, Argentine, Belgium, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

In 84 kg, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Karami failed to book a berth in the final as he was beaten by his South Korean rival 8-6.

On his way to the semifinal, Karami had edged past representatives of Italy, Ireland, Denmark, and Turkey.

Winning 30 points each, Iran and South Korea jointly top the table of the 17th edition of the world taekwondo event.

Iran grabbed an invaluable gold medal in under-72 kg on the first day as 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist, Hadi Saei, came under spotlight again, winning the coveted gold medal Wednesday.

The Iranian phenom, who was suffering from a leg injury, advanced to the second round as he was drawn no confrontation in the opening clashes and his opponent from Estonia refused to appear on the mat.

He handed his Swiss rival a humiliating 9-3 defeat in the second round.

In a cutthroat quarterfinal match the veterans called early final of under-72 kg category, World Taekwondo Player of the Year 2004, Saei, managed to edge past South Korea's Song Hyum-mum 9-8.

Spaniard Daniel Martinez, who was supported by over 4,000 home fans, was also victimized, losing to the world number one 12-6.

Renowned Japanese player, Takahino Niimi, surrendered to his injuries he picked in the semifinal against Saei, leaving the mat in favor of his title-thirsty opponent.

The red-clad Saei stole the glittering gold with a 5-2 victory over Russian finalist Alan Akoev.

Carlos Vasquez of Venezuela and Niimi won bronze.

... Payvand News - 4/15/05 ... --

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