Lee Ah-reum wins gold at taekwondo world championships

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 30, 2017 - 19:47
  • Updated : Aug 23, 2017 - 17:22

   MUJU -- South Korea's Lee Ah-reum captured gold on the final day of the taekwondo world championships Friday.

   Lee defeated Hatice Kubra Ilgun of Turkey 7-5 in the final of the women's under-57kg at the World Taekwondo Championships at Taekwondowon's T1 Arena in Muju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

   This was South Korea's tournament-leading fifth and final gold, and its 10th medal overall. The host also won a silver and four bronze medals here.

South Korea's Lee Ah-reum after winning gold on the final day of the taekwondo world championships Friday. (Yonhap)

  The competition will wrap up later Friday with the finals for the women's under-62kg and men's under-80kg. These two finals will not feature South Koreans.

   Against Ilgun, Lee took a quick 3-0 lead early in the first round, thanks to a combination of a two-point kick and a "gam-jeom," or deduction penalty, by the Turkish fighter.

   Seven seconds into the second round, Lee opened a 6-0 lead with a three-point kick to the head. She gave two points back on penalties, but still led by four heading into the final round.

   Lee took three consecutive penalties as Ilgun got to within a point. But Ilgun gave back a point on a penalty of her own with 19 seconds left, and the South Korean held on for a two-point win.

   This was the first world title for Lee, who earlier won the

2014 Asian Games gold medal.

   "I wanted to win a world championship when I was younger," the 25-year-old said. "Now, I'd like to do a three-peat. There are so many strong athletes in this division that I didn't expect myself to finish first. It's really gratifying."

   Earlier in the day, Lee upset world No. 1 Jade Jones in the semifinals. The British fighter is a two-time reigning Olympic champion but still doesn't have a world championship to her credit, with a silver and a bronze so far.