Olympics: Taekwondo

Italian superior in taekwondo final

Carlo Molfetta celebrates winning gold in men’s taekwondo. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Carlo Molfetta of Italy won the gold medal in the men’s taekwondo 80kg over Anthony Obame of Gabon. The fight ended tied on points, 9-9, but Molfetta was declared the winner by the judges on superiority.

Robelis Despaigne of Cuba and Xiaobo Liu of China won the bronze medals.

McPherson wins taekwondo bronze

Paige McPherson won a bronze medal in the 67 kg taekwondo division with an 8-3 victory of Franka Anic of Slovenia.

McPherson had lost in the quarterfinals to Nur Tatar of Turkey, but when Tatar advanced to the gold medal match, McPherson got a second chance in the repechage. She won that match against Andrea St. Bernard of Grenada.

McPherson knocked out British world champion Sarah Stevenson in the first round.

McPherson to battle for bronze in taekwondo

Paige McPherson won her repechage match against Andrea St. Bernard of Grenada and will take on Franka Anic of Slovenia for a bronze medal in the 67 kg taekwondo competition.

McPherson knocked out British world champion Sarah Stevenson in the first round, but lost to Nur Tatar of Turkey in the quarterfinals. When Tatar advanced to the gold medal match, that gave McPherson a second chance at a bronze medal.

McPherson falls in taekwondo quarterfinals

Paige McPherson, left, battles Turkey’s Nur Tatar. (Alberto Pizzoli — AFP/Getty Images)

Paige McPherson of the United States, who upset world champion Sarah Stevenson earlier Friday, lost to Nur Tatar of Turkey in the 67kg taekwondo quarterfinals, 6-1. McPherson can still win one of the two bronze medals if Tatar advances to the gold medal match.

Two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez, who lost earlier Friday to to Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan in the men’s 80kg preliminaries, will not compete for one of the bronze medals after the top-seeded Azizov lost to Mauro Sarmiento of Italy in the quarterfinals.

McPherson scores taekwondo upset

Paige McPherson of the United States, left, dodges a kick from Britain’s Sarah Stevenson. (Ng Han Guan — Associated Press)

Paige McPherson knocked out British world champion Sarah Stevenson in the first round of the women’s 67 kg taekwondo competition.

Stevenson had not competed since February after injuring her knee. She was chosen for the British Olympic team by a panel that included her husband.

“I saw my family and my boyfriend and that gave me all the enthusiasm I needed,” McPherson said of fighting in front of a pro-Stevenson crowd.

McPherson next faces Nur Tatar of Turkey in the quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m.

In men’s 80kg taekwondo, two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez of the United States lost his preliminary bout to Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan, the tournament’s top seed. Lopez can still earn one of the two bronze medals handed out if Azizov makes the gold medal match, though he may withdraw with an ankle injury.

Jennings wins taekwondo bronze

Terrence Jennings of Alexandria scored a win on a video replay. (Hannah Johnson — Getty Images)

After losing his first fight of the day, Alexandria’s Terrence Jennings successfully fought his way through the repechage group in the 68kg taekwondo tournament to win bronze.

Jennings, 26, defeated Brazil’s Diogo Silva by a score of 8-5 to claim one of the two bronzes. He needed a successful video review as time expired to win the bout on a three-point head kick that provided the final margin of victory.

After a slow start, Jennings successfully executed a huge four-point roundhouse kick in the final seconds of the opening round, which gave him the fight’s first points. Both fighters got on the scoreboard in the second — Silva on a two-point kick — and Jennings held a 5-2 edge heading into the final round.

In the third, Jennings was able to stave off the Brazilian fighter until late in the round. At one point, Silva requested a video review of what the fighter hoped would be a four-point kick, which would have given him a narrow lead with only 30 seconds remaining. He was not awarded the points, but when fighting resumed, he was able to tie the score and a flurry of fighting as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Jennings asked for a video review of his own for a three-point head kick as time expired. After mulling over footage, officials ruled the kick was pure, breaking the tie and giving Jennings the win.