22 November 2022

Event Wrap: World Taekwondo Championships

The 25th edition of the World Taekwondo Championships has officially come to a close. 

There were solid performances across the board for the Aussies, with the entire team gaining valuable experience on the road to the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

One of Australia’s standout performances came from Saffron Tambyrajah, who pushed Mexico’s Daniela Paola Souza to the brink in the women’s -49kg division. Paola Souza eventually took home gold and the tournament’s women’s MVP Award. 

At the close of the Championships, Australia was also honoured with the Active Participation Award.

Here’s how all the Aussies fared in Guadalajara. 

Day 1 

Yosafe Zakoulouta reached the Round of 32 in the men’s -80kg division, following the disqualification of Senegal’s Sadikh Ababacar Soumare. He then lost an extremely tight contest against Colombia’s Miguel Trejos Salas (via Pts R1: 4-3, R2: 3-2). 

Stacey Hymer reached the Round of 16 in the women’s -57kg with a strong performance against Italy’s Giada Al Halwani (won via Pts R1: 5-1, R2: 5-2), before losing a competitive bout with Turkey’s bronze medallist, Hatice Kubra Ilgun (via Pts R1: 7-1, R2: 4-3). 

Day 2 

In the men’s -87kg, Arash Mozhdeh was defeated by Italy’s Roberto Botta in the Round of 32 (via Pts R1: 6-1, R2: 5-2). Anastasia Galazoula progressed to the Round of 32 in the women’s -62kg with a win by disqualification over Nigeria’s Madinatou Moussa Soko. She was defeated in the Round of 16 by Uzbekistan’s bronze medallist, Feruza Sadikova (via Pts R1: 9-2, R2: 5-4). In the women’s -67kg, Sofia Typou was eliminated in the Round of 64 by the USA’s Kristina Teachout (via Pts R1: 20-6, R2: 14-2). 

Day 3

Tom Afonczenko scored a great comeback victory against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Sittek (via Pts R1: 1-3, R2: 5-4, R3: 11-7) in the men’s -68kg division. He was narrowly defeated by the USA’s Khalfani Harris in the Round of 32 (via Pts R1: 2-2, R2: 6-3). 

Saffron Tambyrajah impressed in the women’s -49kg, reaching the Round of 16 with a strong victory over Ariana Portuguez (via Pts R1: 3-2, R2: 9-3). She lost a tight contest against the home favourite and eventual gold medallist, Daniela Paola Souza (via Pts R1: 2-1, R2: 1-1). 

Day 4 

In the men’s -74kg, Leon Sejranovic made a strong run to the Round of 16 with victories over El Salvador’s Francisco Lara Gavidia (via Pts R1: 6-5, R2: 12-0) and Ireland’s Leroy Nsilu Dilandu (via Pts R1: 2-2, R2: 16-7). His run eventually came to an end against Spain’s bronze medallist, Daniel Quesada Barrera (via Pts R1: 9-0, R2: 12-0). 

Kyle Nolan was defeated in the Round of 64 in the men’s +87kg by Jordan’s Anas Sadek (via Pts R1: 8-2, R2: 10-2). Reba Stewart was eliminated in a tight and technical Round of 32 bout by Croatia’s Matea Kolovrat (via Pts R1: 2-1, R2: 5-2). 

Day 5

In the men’s -63kg, Fred Pace was defeated in the Round of 64 by China’s gold medallist Yushuai Liang (via Pts R1: 13-0, R2: 12-0), while Tamzin Christoffel lost an extremely close contest in the same round, to Colombia’s Lucero Gomez (via Pts R1: 6-6, R2: 6-3, R3: 10-4) in the women’s -53kg. 

Day 6

In the men’s -54kg, Ben Camua reached the Round of 32 with a win over Puerto Rico’s Kariel Cruz Ramos (Pts R1: 13-0, R2: 10-3), before losing to Brazil’s Paulo Melo (Pts R1: 15-1, R2: 16-4). Katja Medd was also eliminated in the Round of 32 in the women’s -73kg by Rama Abo-Alrub (via Pts R1: 8-2, R2: 11-0). 

Day 7

Juliet Lahood lost a tough Round of 64 bout in the women’s -46kg division, against Turkey’s silver medallist Rukiye Yildirim (via Pts R1: 11-5, R2: 10-3), while Bailey Lewis lost a tight contest against Thailand’s Thanakrit Yodrak (10-7, 10-7) in the Round of 32 of the men’s -58kg.  

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