Archive for August, 2008

Canada’s Sergerie brings home a silver in taekwondo

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

In an exciting match with South Korea’s Hwang Kyungseon, Karine Sergerie loses 2-1 and is awarded a silver medal.

Hwang Kyungseon is the welterweight World Taekwondo Champion for 2007 while Sergerie is the lightweight World Taekwondo Champion. A little lighter and shorter than Hwang, Sergerie had to work hard to shorten the distance between her and her opponent to land a kick scoring one point. Although having an early lead from the first round, Sergerie could not prevent Hwang from tying it up with a roundhouse kick under Sergerie’s arm in the second round. Hwang then took the lead late in the third round with a strong back kick leaving Sergerie 35 seconds to try to tie the match up. The final 35 seconds of the gold match was tense and fierce as Sergerie put more pressure on her opponent hoping to score another point to push the match into sudden death overtime. Unfortunately, 35 seconds was not enough time. Hwang stayed strong trying to increase the point gap and holding Sergerie off until the buzzer. Korea’s Hwang Kyungseon wins the gold medal in the women’s 67 kg leaving a silver for Canada’s Karine Sergerie.

Earlier in this competition, Hwang defeated Sheikha Maitha Almaktoum of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the preliminary match by a score of 5-1. Hwang then defeated Croatia’s Sandra Saric in the quarterfinals by a score of 3-1. In the semifinals, she defeated France’s Gwladys Patience Epangue in overtime with a score of 2-1 sending Epangue to the bronze medal match. Overall, she had a better fight record than Sergerie in this competition.

Both Sergerie and Hwang should be pround. They fought excellently. Sergerie knew going in that she might have to fight heavier opponents and she gave her opponent a good fight for the gold. No shame, be proud Sergerie, you did an excellent job representing Canadian taekwondo. There’s always the 2012 Olympics.

The bronze medal winners in this competition are Croatia’s Sandra Saric (who was defeated in the quarterfinals by Hwang) and France’s Gwladys Patience Epangue (who was also defeated by Hwang, although later in the semifinals).

In the men’s 80 kg, Iran’s Hadi Saei defeated Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento in the finals by a score of 6-4 capturing the gold medal and leaving Sarmiento with a silver medal. Bronze medal winners are China’s Zhu Guo and Steven Lopez of the U.S.A. China’s Zhu defeated Great Britain’s Aaron Cook by a score of 4-1, and U.S.A.’s Steven Lopez defeated Azerbaijan’s Rashad Ahmadov by a score of 3-2. Canada’s Sebastien Michaud lost the quarterfinal match to Azerbaijan’s Ahmadov and was not entered into the repechage as Ahmadov did not make it to the finals (gold medal match).

Summary:

Women’s 67 kg
Gold Korea Hwang Kyungseon
Silver Canada Karine Sergerie
Bronze Croatia Sandra Saric
Bronze France Gwladys Patience Epangue

Men’s 80 kg
Gold Iran Hadi Saei
Silver Italy Mauro Sarmiento
Bronze U.S.A. Steven Lopez
Bronze China Zhu Guo

Congrats to all the medalists! Way to go, Karine!

Links:
Results courtesy of the Beijing Olympics website
TSN’s article on Karine winning silver
CBC article on Sergerie winning silver
Globe and Mail article about Karine winning silver (Note: the article is incorrect. You are NOT allowed to punch to the head in Olympic taekwondo. There are two taekwondo federations, International Taekwondo (ITF) in North Korea and World Taekwondo (WTF) in South Korea. WTF is featured in the Olympics and no punches are allowed to the head, just the body. You get two points for kick to the head and one point for a punch or a kick to the body.)

~~~C

P.S. It doesn’t look like CBC will be providing a live feed for the remaining taekwondo competitions – men’s and women’s heavyweights. That is disappointing. In fact, I couldn’t get a live feed this morning to watch the bronze medal matches or any of the men’s matches. I think CBC needs to re-think their Olympic coverage plans for the future. You can get updates via the Beijing Olympic website.

Olympic taekwondo – Sergerie in the women’s 67 kg and Michaud in the men’s 80 kg

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

In women’s 67 kg, Karine Sergerie wins her preliminary match over Australia’s Tina Morgan by the Rule of Superiority. Although the score was tied 0-0, she was clearly the dominant competitor having scored a point only losing it due to receiving two warnings (kyong-go in Korean). Sergerie performed stunningly in the quarterfinals defeating Argentina’s Vanina Paola Sanchez Beron by a score of 3-0. In the semifinals, Sergerie guarantees herself and Canada at least a silver medal by defeating Puerto Rico’s Asuncion Ocasio Rodriguez by a score of 2-0. Puerto Rico’s Ocasio Rodriguez will compete for the bronze medal. In the finals, Sergerie will fight against South Korea’s Hwang Kyungseon for the gold medal. The gold medal match will be at 8 a.m. ET.

In the men’s 80 kg, Sebastien Michaud defeats Angel Roman Martinez of Puerto Rico in the preliminary match by a score of 2-1 (won in sudden death overtime). In the quarterfinals, Michaud lost to Azerbaijan’s Rashad Ahmadov by the Rule of Superiority as it was tied 0-0 after sudden death overtime. Ahmadov scored one point but lost it due to receiving two kyong-gos. Because Michaud did not score a point, Ahmadov was ruled the superior competitor. Michaud would have moved to the repechage match only if Azerbaijan’s Ahmadov made it to the finals (gold medal match). Unfortunately, Ahmadov lost 4-1 to Iran’s Hadi Saei. The gold medal match for men’s 80 kg will be between Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento and Iran’s Saei at 8:15 a.m. ET.

~~~C

Olympic taekwondo – women’s 57 kg and men’s 68 kg

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

South Korea wins double gold in taekwondo – first in the women’s 57 kg, then in the men’s 68 kg.

Lim Sujeong of South Korea defeated Su Li-Wen of Chinese Taipei in the preliminary match by a score of 1-0. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Robin Cheong of New Zealand with a final score of 4-1. In the semifinals, she sent Veronica Calabrese of Italy to the bronze medal match winning with a score of 5-1. In the finals, she won by a score of 1-0 to take the gold medal leaving silver for Turkey’s Azize Tanrikulu.

The bronze medal winners are Diana Lopez of the U.S.A. (who defeated Italy’s Calabrese in sudden death overtime) and Martina Zubcic of Croatia (who defeated Chinese Taipei’s Su Li-Wen in sudden death overtime).

In the men’s 68 kg, South Korea’s Son Taejin defeated Dennis Bekkers of the Netherlands in the preliminary match by a score of 4-3. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Turkey’s Servet Tazegul with a score of 1-0. In the semifinals, he won by a score of 7-6 sending Chinese Taipei’s Sung Yu-Chi to the bronze medal match. In the finals, he took the gold medal with a score of 3-2 leaving Mark Lopez of the U.S.A. with a silver medal.

The bronze medal winners are Turkey’s Tazegul (who defeated Peter Lopez of Peru – not related to Mark Lopez and family) and Chinese Taipei’s Sung Yu-Chi (who defeated Germany’s Daniel Manz).

Summary of medal winners:

Women’s 57 kg
Gold South Korea Lim Sujeong
Silver Turkey Azize Tanrikulu
Bronze U.S.A. Diana Lopez
Bronze Croatia Martina Zubcic

Men’s 68 kg
Gold South Korea Son Taejin
Silver U.S.A. Mark Lopez
Bronze Turkey Servet Tazegul
Bronze Chinese Taipei Sung Yu-Chi

Congrats to the medallists!

~~~C

Taekwondo finals – China wins women’s 49 kg and Mexico wins men’s 58 kg

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

China’s Wu Jingyu defeats Thailand’s Buttree Puedpong capturing the gold medal in the women’s 49 kg and leaving Puedpong with a silver medal. The score was 1-(-1). Thailand’s Puedpong’s fight record in the contest was 1-0 over Cuba (won in overtime), 2-1 over Vietnam (won in overtime), and a win by superiority over Venezuela (the score was 2-2). China’s Wu’s fight record in the contest was 7-0 over Kenya, 8-1 over Sweden, and 4-1 over Chinese Taipei. Based on contest history, it looked like Wu was the dominant competitor going in. Puedpong gave Wu a run for the gold though, but unfortunately Puedpong couldn’t land a solid back kick on Wu.

Bronze medals went to Venezuela’s Dalia Contreras Rivero and Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo.

After losing the semi-final match to Thailand’s Puedpong, Contreras Rivero defeated Kenya’s Mildred Alango to win the bronze by a score of 1-0. Alango, after losing the preliminary match to China’s Wu, won by superiority over Sweden’s Hanna Zajc in the repechage round (Sweden’s Zajc lost to China’s Wu in the quarterfinals.)

Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo, having lost the preliminary match to Thailand’s Puedpong, surprised the audience and taekwondo fans by defeating Chinese Taipei’s Yang Shu-Chun, who was defeated in the semi-finals by China’s Wu. Montejo won the bronze 3-2 in overtime.

In the men’s 58 kg, Mexico’s Guillermo Perez won over Dominican Republic’s Yulis Gabriel Mercedes by superiority (the score was 1-1). In taekwondo, if a tie remains after sudden death overtime, the winner is determined by the Rule of Superiority. The more aggressive competitor is considered to be superior. The judges and the referee determined it was Perez who was superior in this match leaving Mercedes with a silver. Dominican Republic’s Mercedes’ fight record in the contest was 3-0 over Portugal, 3-2 over Chinese Taipei, and 3-2 over Spain (won in overtime). Mexico’s Perez’ fight record in the contest was 3-2 over Great Britain (won in overtime), 2-1 over Afghanistan, and 3-1 over Thailand.

Bronze medals went to Afghanistan’s Rohullah Nikpai and Chinese Taipei’s Chu Mu-Yen in the men’s 58 kg.

After losing the quarterfinals to Mexico’s Perez, Afghanistan’s Nikpai first defeated Great Britain’s Michael Harvey in the repechage round. (Harvey lost the preliminary match against Mexico’s Perez.) Nikpai went on to the bronze medal match defeating Spain’s Juan Antonio Ramos, who lost in the semifinal match to Dominican Republic’s Mercedes. Nikpai won the bronze by a score of 4-1.

Chinese Taipei’s Chu lost the quarterfinal match to Dominican Republic’s Perez, then went on to defeat Portugal’s Pedro Povoa in the repechage round. (Pedro Povoa was defeated in the preliminary match by Perez.) In the bronze medal match, Chu defeated Thailand’s Chutchawal Khawlaor, who lost the semifinals to Mexico’s Perez. Chu won the bronze by a score of 4-2.

Summary of medalists:

Women’s 49 kg:
Gold – China – Wu Jingyu
Silver – Thailand – Buttree Puedpong
Bronze – Venezuela – Dalia Contreras Rivero
Bronze – Cuba – Daynellis Montejo

Men’s 58 kg:
Gold – Mexico – Guillermo Perez
Silver – Dominican Republic – Yulis Gabriel Mercedes
Bronze – Afghanistan – Rohullah Nikpai
Bronze – Chinese Taipei – Chu Mu-Yen

Links:
Contest results for all matches today
Results for women’s 49 kg
Results for men’s 58 kg

Check with www.cbc.ca/olympics/ Thursday night to see Canada’s next two matches in taekwondo, Karine Sergerie in the women’s 67 kg and Sebastien Michaud in the men’s 80 kg.

~~~C

Canada appeals loss in women’s taekwondo 49k

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

After Gonda lost her preliminary taekwondo match, Canada launched a protest claiming the judging was unfair. There were many kicks that could/should have scored in the match, but no points were awarded to Gonda in the match. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought she should have had more points. (See the CBC article and scroll down to the comments.) The quarterfinals for the women’s 49k start at 3:00 a.m. EST. So far rumour has it that the appeal has been dismissed. As of writing, the final results still lists Sweden’s Zajc as advancing to the quarterfinals and not Canada’s Gonda.

The Olympics are supposed to be using the competition rules as set by the WTF. According to these Rules of Competition, three or more judges must agree to score a point. More specifically (Article 13: Scoring and Publication),

3.
In the use of electronic trunk protectors
A. Valid points scored on the mid-section of the trunk shall be recorded automatically by the transmitter in the electronic trunk protector.
B. Valid points scored to the face shall be marked by each judge by using the electronic scoring instrument or judge’s scoring sheet.
4.
In the case of scoring with an electronic scoring instrument or on a judge’s scoring sheet, valid points shall be those recognized by at least three or more judges.

I’m not sure if electronic trunk protectors were used, but it looked as if the judges were using the hand-held scoring devices. The other issue with scoring points is that the judges may not see the kicks if you aren’t positioned in a clear field of view. I noticed in this match, the Swedish competitor was blocking the view of one of the judges – whether or not this was intentional is unclear.

This is not the first protest against unfair judging. Earlier, a Swedish wrestler who won the bronze match gave up his medal and walked away from the podium and medal ceremony. He lost the match that would have advanced him to the gold medal match. (His opponent went on to win the gold.) The Swedish wrestler was angry after the match due to unfair judging and only went on with the bronze medal match after discussing it with friends and family.

~~~C

Canada loses chance for taekwondo medal in women’s 49k

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Disappointingly, Ivett Gonda lost her preliminary match to Sweden’s Hanna Zajc. The score was 2-0. Perhaps it just was a bad day.

China’s Wu Jingyu pulled off an amazing win in her preliminary by outscoring her opponent 7-0. The Olympics have adopted the “mercy rule”, which means that a competitor wins the match if she is winning by 7 points. Wu Jingyu won that match with a nice spinning hook kick to make it 7-0. Based on her match so far, I’m predicting China to win the gold.

Thailand’s Buttree Puedpong defeated Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo in sudden death overtime with a nicely timed defensive roundhouse to Montejo’s axe kick.

For a look at who’s fighting who in the women’s 49k quarterfinals, see official results courtesy of the Beijing Olympics site.

The women’s 49k quarterfinals will start at 3:00 a.m. EST. Tune into www.cbc.ca/olympics/ and click on “watch live” next to taekwondo on the schedule.

The men’s 58kg preliminaries are on now. Canada does not have a competitor in this category. Canada’s next taekwondo match is Karine Sergerie’s at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Sebastien Michaud’s match is on Friday at 12:15 a.m.

Good luck to Karine and Sebastien!

~~~C

Canada’s Female Wrestler Brings Home the First Gold

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Carol Huynh has won Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling. Competing in the 48 kg weight division, Huynh easily defeated her Japanese opponent by getting four points in the first period and two in the second. Additionally, teammate Tonya Verbeek won her bronze medal match in the 55 kg weight class for freestyle wrestling getting Canada’s first bronze in this year’s Olympics.

Canada’s men’s rowing pair also achieved a silver medal giving Canada one gold, silver, and a bronze for Day 8 of the 2008 Olympics. Canada is now tied for 29th place in the Olympics. (See Olympic medal count.)

I’m still holding out for some good taekwondo matches in three more days. CBC promises to air all of Canada’s taekwondo matches. Sports Illustrated has predicted medals for all three of Canada’s competitors in taekwondo. Don’t forget to tune into CBC Tuesday night at 9!

~~~C

Taekwondo in the Olympics

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Canada has yet to win any medals in the Olympics this year. Perhaps Canada’s best chance for a gold is in taekwondo. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased (I’ve only been training in taekwondo for almost nine years), but let’s look at Canada’s women’s lightweight contender – Karine Sergerie. Sergerie is the current World Taekwondo Champion in her weight division (she weighs in at 63 kg). Prior to her gold win in the 2007 World’s, she placed second in 2003 and third in the 2005 World’s. On top of that she won the gold medals in the 2007 and 2006 Pan-Am Games. In 2006, she won the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships. She has won the gold in the Canadian Senior National Championships since 2002 – that’s a seven-time consecutive champion in Canadian Nationals. That’s an amazing record so far, almost enough to win the olympic gold medal on its own. Sergerie apparently isn’t the type to let her record stand on its own, but rather the type that will keep battling it out. Here’s a video clip of her winning the 2007 World’s.


Karine Sergerie winning the World Taekwondo Championships 2007

In this match she was down 3-0, she pushes on in the match to tie and move it into sudden death overtime. (In taekwondo rules, you could also lose a point if you get two warnings from the referee and lose the match in sudden death that way too.) She manages to get her kick in faster and stronger than her opponent and win the gold.

Canada has two other athletes in the olympics for taekwondo, Sebastien Michaud and Ivett Gonda, also good competitors in taekwondo.

For more about Karine Sergerie, read CBC’s “World champion finally gets her shot”. (For those who don’t know, Dominique Bosshart received a bronze for Canada in the 2000 olympics.)

See also, CBC’s video profile of Karine Sergerie.

Please also see these articles on taekwondo at the olympics.

Taekwondo sparring terms (Korean sparring terms that you will hear used by the referee.)

Taekwondo history (What this article fails to mention is that there are two styles of taekwondo, ITF and WTF. WTF (for World Taekwondo Federation) is featured at the olympics while ITF (for International Taekwondo Federation) is not. The historical difference between the two relates to the split of Korea into North and South Korea. Maybe one day, ITF and WTF will merge recalling their initial beginnings as one martial art.)

Head Shots (What judges look for in a good taekwondo sparring match. Unlike something like boxing or wrestling, there is a certain grace and dexterity in taekwondo sparring as it requires precision more so than brute force to make a good sparrer. Anyone else note the wide weight classes? That means someone at the light end of the class might have to spar someone 20 lbs heavier. There are only four weight classes in taekwondo for the Olympics – see the link to “weight divisions” above.)

I don’t know about the rest of Canada, but I’m looking forward to some exciting Olympic taekwondo matches. If Sergerie brings home the gold in taekwondo, perhaps Canada will finally pay some attention to this great martial art and sport, which blends grace and finesse with a true fighting spirit.

~~~C

20+ km walk

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Nate and I decided to do a (minimum) 20 km walk this year. Last year I did a walk/run down Yonge Street from Finch to Bloor, which was 12.6 km. This year’s walk (this past Saturday) was nearly double last year’s. We started our walk at Church St. and Weston Rd., then followed the discovery walk paths along the Humber River down to the lakeshore. This brought us to the mouth of the Humber River, where it joins with Lake Ontario. From there we crossed the Humber River bridge (see picture below), and walked east along the lakeshore to Union Station.


Humber River Bridge


View of Lake Ontario from the Humber River Bridge

The walk took just about five and a half hours. Halfway into the walk, it started to thunderstorm. I think it rained for almost two hours. Luckily, I was wearing a waterproof track jacket. Unfortunately, I had changed from my track pants to my shorts earlier because it was warming up. We weren’t expecting a thunderstorm that day, but well… I’m going to blame it on Nathan and that’s that. My legs were actually starting to get cold from the rain. By the time we were walking past Ontario Place, my good knee was starting to get cold and stiff. We walked on and the rain starting to ease up. Eventually, I found some shelter that turned out to be a washroom where I could freshen up and change back into my track pants. It wasn’t much after that that we reached lakeshore and Bathurst. From there, we could just walk along the Queen’s Quay to the Harbourfront and then to Union Station. I’m amused that the thunderstorm happened just as we were walking along the long stretch of lakeshore were it was more desolate. By the time we got to Bathurst, it was sunny and warm again. Go figure!

All in all though, I was happy with the walk. My feet were a tad sore, but in actuality no more sore than when I used to do three hours of taekwondo training. I felt that good about the walk, I still went for a run the next day!

~~~C