American taekwondo fighter Diana Lopez will not be adding a second Olympic medal to her collection at these Summer Games.
Lopez, who won bronze in Beijing four years ago, was knocked out of the repechage group of the 57kg weight class, losing to Finland’s Suvi Mikkonen, 9-4.
Mikkonen jumped out to a big 6-1 lead in the opening round, a margin that proved too big for Lopez to overcome. Midway through the second, the American had cut it to 6-2 but fell to the mat and gripped her left knee during a break in the action. Lopez continued but favored her hurt knee and was unable to battle back.
Terrence Jennings advanced Thursday to the 68kg bronze medal match of the Olympic taekwondo tournament.
Jennings, a 26-year old Alexandria native, scored a 3-2 win over Ukraine’s Hryhorii Husarov to keep his medal hopes alive.
Jennings kicked his way to a 2-0 lead in the opening round and added a point in the second, as Husarov struggled to land a kick. The Ukraine fighter scored two later points in the final round , but it was not enough.
After losing in the opening round of the tournament, Jennings is fighting his way through the repechage group. In Olympic taekwondo, any fighter who loses to one of the two eventual finalists moves into one of two repechage groups. The winners there square off for the two bronze medals.
Jennings advanced to face Brazil’s Diogo Silva later Thursday.
Despite losing his opening-round taekwondo fight, Alexandria’s Terrence Jennings still has a shot at leaving London with a medal.
Servet Tazegul defeated Jennings, and because the top-ranked Russian fighter advanced to the gold medal contest the 68kg weight class, Jennings is back in the tournament. Taekwondo is a single-elimination tournament, but any fighter who loses to one of the two eventual finalists moves into one of two repechage groups. The repechage group winners will square off for the two bronze medals.
Jennings will face Hryhorii Husarov and would need to win two fights to earn a bronze.
In the women’s 57kg class, American Diana Lopez is also in the repechage round and will meet Finland’s Suvi Mikkonen.
American Diana Lopez lost to two-time world champion Hou Yuzhou of China in the opening round of the women’s 57-kilogram taekwondo competition. Lopez won a bronze medal in Beijing, and there’s a chance she could still fight for a bronze today, depending on how far Hou advances in the tournament. Read more about the bout in this Associated Press story.
Terrence Jennings’s gold medal dream ended after just one match in the Olympics taekwondo tournament.
Jennings, a 26-year old Alexandria native, lost an 8-6 decision to Turkey’s Servet Tazegul in the tournament’s preliminary round Thursday morning. It was a tough draw for Jennings, as Tazegul is the world’s No. 1 ranked fighter and the reigning world champion in the 68kg category.
The two were even in Rounds 1 and 3 (4-4, 1-1), but Tazegul kicked his way to a 3-1 advantage in the decisive second round.
The Olympics aren’t necessarily over for Jennings. If Tazegul reaches the gold medal match, Jennings enters another tournament against other fighters who’ve lost to the finalists for a chance at a bronze medal.
Jennings qualified for the Olympics at the U.S. trials in March, unseating Mark Lopez, who won silver at the Beijing Games.