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(LEAD) S. Korean Kim Tae-hun wins 3rd straight gold at taekwondo worlds

All News 20:57 June 25, 2017

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By Yoo Jee-ho

MUJU, South Korea, June 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Kim Tae-hun won his third straight gold medal at taekwondo's biennial world championships on Sunday.

Kim defeated Armin Hadipour Seighalani of Iran 10-6 to claim the men's under-54kg title at the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Taekwondo Championships at Taekwondowon's T1 Arena in Muju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

Kim, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in 58kg, had earlier won world titles in the under-54kg in 2013 and 2015.

This was South Korea's second gold medal of Sunday. Just minutes before Kim took the mat, Sim Jae-young won the women's under-46kg gold medal.

In the final, the two athletes were knotted at 3-3 after the first of three two-minute rounds. Then Kim put up six points on the board in the second round, thanks to a pair of two-point kicks and a three-point kick to the head. Hadipour Seighalani also received two "gam-jeoms," or deduction penalties.

After earning two points with a kick in the first round, the Iranian never scored another point by himself, benefitting only from Kim's penalties to get his six points.

And that wasn't nearly enough against the South Korean, who has also won an Asian Games gold medal and an Asian Championship gold medal.

Kim said he battled some early nerves as his competition began on Day 1 of the championships on Saturday with the preliminary rounds.

"I didn't really know what to expect, but I am glad to win my third straight gold after all," he said. "It was greating competing before the home fans. They really gave me a lot of energy today and I had fun out there.

Kim said he enjoyed the luck of the draw, with most of the tough contenders ending up on the opposite side of the bracket.

In the semifinals earlier Sunday, Kim blanked Vito Dell'Aquila of Italy 16-0. The match was called just 30 seconds into the third round, when Dell'Aquila picked up his 10th "gam-jeom," or deduction penalties, and was disqualified from the contest.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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