Lee easily defeated Huang Yu-Jen of Chinese Taipei 26-8 to claim the men's under-68kg title at the World Taekwondo Federation World Taekwondo Championships at Taekwondowon's T1 Arena in Muju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul.
Lee now has three gold medals at the world championships. He previously won world titles in 2011 and 2013 in the under-63kg category.
|Lee Dae-hoon of South Korea (right) battles Huang Yu-Jen of Chinese Taipei in the men's under-68kg final at the World Taekwondo Federation World Taekwondo Championships at T1 Arena in Muju, North Jeolla Province, on June 27, 2017. (Yonhap)|
This wasn't exactly the matchup that fans clamored for. Ahmad Abughaush of Jordan, who upset Lee in the quarterfinals of last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics en route to taking the gold, was on the opposite side of the bracket from Lee. The two were on a collision course to meet in the final here, but moments after Lee won his semifinals match over Vladimir Dalakliev of Bulgaria, Abughaush fell to Huang in the semis, 9-4.
In the final, Lee led 9-0 after the first of three two-minute rounds, with an array of kicks and punches. Huang, a 20-year-old ranked 42nd in the world, was badly overmatched against the top-ranked South Korean.
The score was 17-4 after two rounds, and Lee put up nine more points on the board in the final frame to close out Huang.
"I am so happy to win the title at such a great venue," Lee said. "And I think I was able to get the gold thanks to the support of so many Korean fans here."
As for the tantalizing final that never materialized, Lee said he had mixed feelings about it.
"I was a bit disappointed it didn't happen," Lee said. "But at the same time, I would have been nervous facing Abughaush, and it would put some pressure on me. So I was also relieved that he didn't make it to the final."
This is also South Korea's third gold and fourth medal overall at this competition. South Korea won two gold medals on Sunday, and earlier Tuesday, Kim Jan-di got the bronze in the women's under-67kg. (Yonhap)