South Korea’s Hwang Kyung-seon poses with her gold medal on Friday after winning the women’s under-67-kilogram event at 2012 London Olympic Games. (Yonhap News)
Hwang Kyeong-seon captured the gold medal in the women's under-67-kilogram taekwondo finals on Friday at the London Olympics.
Hwang defeated Nur Tatar of Turkey 12-5 for her second straight gold medal. Hwang, 26, is the first female taekwondo fighter to win a medal in three straight Olympics, following bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008.
Holding a 5-3 lead after the first of the three two-minute rounds in the gold medal bout, Hwang blew open the match with six points in the second round. She went up 8-3 with a successful kick to the head, and then put on three successive one-point kicks to Tatar's body for good measure.
(London Olympic Joint Press Corps)
The South Korean led 11-4 entering the final two minutes and added her last point with a punch.
Taekwondo fighters earn one point for a kick or a punch to the body, two points for a turning kick to the trunk, three points for a valid kick to the head and four points for a turning kick to the head.
Hwang's was the first taekwondo gold in London, after Lee Dae-hoon took silver in men's under-58㎏ Wednesday. Lee In-jong in the women's over-67㎏ and Cha Dong-min in the men's over-80㎏ will look to add to the medal haul Saturday.
Hwang said watching Lee fall in the gold medal bout earlier made her extra nervous, and she felt even more pressure to try to win the first taekwondo gold for South Korea.
"Gold medals in taekwondo are often taken for granted in our country," she said. "Other athletes celebrate winning silver and bronze medals. It broke my heart seeing Dae-hoon hanging his head low because he won silver."
Musing on her historic accomplishment, Hwang said she was "always grateful" for the opportunities that she's had.
"I went through a slump in the past two years and if I hadn't gotten past that, I wouldn't be here," she said. "I want to thank my coaches and everyone around me for their encouragement." (Yonhap News)
South Korea’s Hwang Kyung-seon reacts after winning the gold medal in women’s under-67-kilogram event at 2012 London Olympic Games. (Yonhap News)