2020 Tokyo Olympics: Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire Win Three Bronze Medals In Women’s Taekwondo
By Our Reporter
The highlight for African on day three of the Tokyo Olympics were three bronze medals in taekwondo.
Egypt’s Hedaya Wahba won bronze in the women’s -67kg category in taekwondo with a 17-6 victory over USA’s Paige McPherson.
Ivory Coast’s Ruth Gbagbi, 27, matched the bronze she won in Rio as she beat Brazil’s Milena Titoneli 12-8 in the -67kg category.
She had lost to Great Britain’s Lauren Williams in the semi-finals 24-18.
In Rio Gbagbi became the first Ivorian woman to win an Olympic medal and has now become the first from her country to win two medals.
Egypt’s Hedaya Malak Wahba, 28, then also claimed her second Olympic bronze having won one in Rio as well this time she moved up a category from -57kg to claim the other bronze on offer in the same category as Gbagbi in Tokyo.
Wahba produced a dominant final round, which she won 14-1, to seal an overall 17-6 victory over USA’s Paige McPherson.
She had also lost to Williams in an earlier round but came through the repechage to earn her shot at a medal.
“It was very hard for her fighting at -57kg. It was not good for her to be always dieting, it’s not safe,” her Mexican coach Salazar Blanco said after the fight.
“So it wasn’t hard to move to -67kg; she just stopped the diet. But we had to build muscle to resist the kicks and we had to work hard on distance because of the taller athletes (in the 67kg class).
“She had to start from the beginning, get all the points again and move up the rankings. But she doesn’t have anything to prove.
“She had Covid in November and she is still not 100%. She has been very, very tired. For her the postponement was very tough. Every day, every year it is harder, she is 28. She has a family.”
Also, Seif Eissa, 23, became the third Egyptian to win an Olympic taekwondo bronze medal as he beat Norway’s Richard Andre Ordemann 12-4 in their medal bout in the men’s -80kg category.
In the same category there had been disappointment for Ivory Coast’s defending Olympic champion Cheick Cisse who lost in the very first round to Morocco’s Achraf Mahboubi.
“I feel destroyed. I didn’t expect that at all. I think there was just too much pressure. I am feeling so bad, of course, because I wanted to defend my title,” Cisse admitted after his loss.