Love-Lee. South Korea Wins First Gold Medal Of WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix In Manchester

South Korea’s Dae-Hoon Lee claimed the first gold medal of the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix to end the run of Brit basher, Abolfazl Yaghoubijouybari.

Lee, 23, and world champion in 2013, beat his Iranian rival 16-7 in the -68kg weight division final.

But it was a weary Yaghoubijouybari who collected his silver medal. After knocking out Michael Harvey and Martin Stamper he edged out Moroccan born 2015 world champion Jaouad Achab 5-4 in the quarters.

He was then involved in a remarkable semi-final against crowd favourite, Servet Tazegul. London 2012 champion and double world gold medallist Turkish favourite Tazegul, 27, trailed 16-5 but hit back to lead 18-17 and 22-21.

However, his Middle East rival forced extra time in the closing stages before striking golden point five seconds into sudden death. Lee was involved in his own last four thriller, beating Moscow Grand Prix winner and compatriot, Hun Kim 12-11.

Haby Niare claimed gold in the women’s -67kg final after a cagey battle with 2012 Olympic and 2013 World Championship silver medallist, Nur Tatar- a repeat of their European Games bronze medal clash.

Turk Tatar swept through her first three matches without dropping a point and then had to dig deep to knockout Korean Hyeri Oh in the 6-5 in the semi-final.

Niare, world champion in 2013, fought past Chuang Chia Chia of Chinese Taipei at the penultimate hurdle to reach her first Grand Prix final of 2015. The 23-year-old French star, nicknamed the ‘Abigator, then controlled the final to claim the crown.

World heavyweight champion Dmitriy Shokin snapped up the third and final gold medal of the opening night in dramatic fashion at +80kg.

The Uzbekistan star was seconds away from defeat against Rafael Castillo but a penalty point against his Cuban opponent took the final into sudden death. And it was 23-year Shokin who eventually prevailed to add to his list of 2015 successes in Turkey, Qatar, Russia Australia and Korea.

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