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Tajik, Nafjam bring Iran world taekwondo silvers

Madrid, April 16, IRNA-Ali Tajik and Feizollah Nafjam from Iran finished runner-up at the 17th World Taekwondo Championships here Friday.

In -78 kg, Tajik, who had overcome representatives of Slovenia, Egypt, Russia, and Republic of Azerbaijan, lost to his American rival 4-3 in the final.

In -54 kg, Nafjam edged past players from Thailand, Belarus, Japan, Australia, and Russia before his loss to a South Korean finalist.


Iran's under-72 kg taekwondo phenom and 2004 Olympics gold medalist, Hadi Saei, came under spotlight again, winning the coveted gold medal in the 17th world event Wednesday.

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

The Iranian prodigy 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 grabbed the glittering gold with a 5-2 victory over Russian finalist Alan Akoev.

Carlos Vasquez of Venezuela and Niimi won bronze.


Behzad Khodadad and Youssef Karami from Iran won one silver and one bronze 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.

... Payvand News - 4/16/05 ... --

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