News ID: 325405
Published: 1049 GMT November 16, 2022

World Taekwondo Championships: Iranian trio left empty-handed on Day 2

World Taekwondo Championships: Iranian trio left empty-handed on Day 2

Iran’s Abolfazl Abbasi (blue) is seen in action at the World Taekwondo Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 15, 2022.

The second day of the World Taekwondo Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, was one to forget for the Iranians as Narges Mirnourollahi, Zeinab Esmaeili, and Abolfazl Abbasi failed to finish on the podiums of their respective weight classes.

Representing the country in the women’s -62kg contests, Mirnourollahi defeated Norwegian Karoline Gjelsvik 2-1 but came short against Canada’s Ashley Kraayeveld – No. 2 of the class in the world rankings – (2-1, 3-12, 5-1), despite delivering an impressive performance in the second round, and missed out on a place in the quarterfinals.

Esmaeili, meanwhile, stepped into the competition fresh from a silver-winning campaign in August’s Islamic Solidarity Games but a showdown against Lauren Williams – a silver winner at the Tokyo Olympics – in her first bout was not quite what the Iranian had wished for.

The British contestant came out on top in straight rounds (9-1, 9-6) as Esmaeili suffered an early exit in the women’s -67kg event.

In the men’s contests, Abbasi kicked off his -87kg campaign in emphatic fashion, beating Guillermo Pérez of Cuba 11-2 and 13-0, and then outclassed Brazilian Ícaro Miguel Soares – ranked first in the world and a finalist in the latest edition of the competition – in two rounds (3-3, 6-2).

Awaiting Abbasi in the quarterfinals was a familiar face in Mehdi Khodabakhshi, a representative of Serbia who had won double golds for Iran at the World Championships in 2015 and the Asian Games a year before.

Khodabakhshi walked away with a 3-1 win in the first round and was given a superiority victory in a thrilling second after it finished 8-8.

Khodabakhshi went on to beat Canadian Jordan Stewart 2-0 in the semifinals before a straight-round triumph (1-0, 5-4) over Meng Mingkuan of China sealed a second world title for the 31-year-old.

The one-week World Championships is being contested by more than 750 contestants from 122 countries.

Iran is represented by eight men and six women in Guadalajara.



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