Bronze medal in men's taekwondo is Afghanistan's first-ever

Updated: August 20, 2008, 9:23 AM ET
Associated Press

BEIJING -- Mexico's Guillermo Perez has won the men's under 58-kilogram taekwondo gold, while Afghanistan is celebrating its first Olympic medal ever in the same event.

Perez won a decision over Dominica's Yulis Gabriel Mercedes by scoring early. Mercedes was unable to come back until just seconds before the bell, when he connected with a back kick.

The two went into overtime, but neither scored. The judges declared Perez the winner.

Rohullah Nikpai defeated world champion Juan Antonio Ramos to win bronze, Afghanistan's first-ever Olympic medal.

The other bronze went to Taiwan's Chu Mu-yen, the defending Athens gold medalist.

In the women's under 49-kilogram class, Reigning world champion Wu Jingyu has won the gold medal, outclassing Thailand's Buttree Puedpong on points.

Wu took the lead in the first round with a chest kick. She narrowly missed on a high kick to Puedpong's head late in the second round that hit the Thai in the shoulder and sent her to the mat.

Puedpong had a point deducted in the third round, putting her in negative territory, and Wu held on for the win.

The bronze medalists were Venezuela's Dalia Contreras Rivero, who defeated Kenya's Mildred Alango on points, and Cuba's Daynellis Montejo, who outscored Yang Shu-chun of Taiwan in overtime.

Taekwondo awards two bronze medals in each weight class.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press