Female bantamweight Gigi Gil (Camarillo, Calif.) chalked up another bronze medal for the American squad on the second day of competition on Thursday at the 9th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. It was the second junior world championship medal for Gil who also won bronze in the finweight division in 2010. Heavyweight Crystal Weekes (Staten Island, N.Y.) won bronze for the U.S. on Wednesday.
Gil had a string of close matches leading up to the semifinals of the -46kg weight class. She scored in the last 10 seconds of her opening match to defeat Georgia’s Teona Vashakmadze, 1-0, in the Round of 32, then posted a 2-0 victory over Korina Paladin of the Philippines to reach the quarterfinals. In her quarterfinal match, Gil edged Turkey’s Aysegul Funda Alp in sudden death overtime to advance to the medal round. Facing Thailand’s Apitchaya Chaikaew in the semifinals, Gil took a 1-0 lead after the first round but fell behind 4-1 after round two. She closed the gap to 4-2 late in the third round but gave up a three-point head shot in the final seconds and lost by a 7-2 count.
Chaikaew would settle for the silver medal after being defeated in the final by Korea’s Min-Ji Im. The other bronze medal in the division was won by Coatia’s Mateja Kunovic.
In the tournament’s largest division, the male bantamweight (-51kg) class which boasts 57 competitors, Logan Gerick (Keller, Texas) made a dominating run to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated. Gerick won his first three matches by a combined score of 27-5, beating Denmark’s Mounir Eljaji (10-4), Indonesia’s Alfin Krisnandi (3-0) and Germany’s Koca Hasan Ahmed (14-1) in a match that was halted after the second round due to the 12-point gap rule. In the quarterfinals round, Gerick held his own for most of the match with Korea’s Dae-Young Kim, trailing 2-1 with 30 seconds remaining but then giving up six straight points to lose by an 8-1 count.
Kim would go on to win the gold medal, defeating Iran’s Mohammad Kazemi Foushazdeh in the final. Bronze medals were won by Guatemala’s Francisco Jose Palacios Matias and Thailand’s Suttisak Janthong.
In the female middleweight (-63kg) division, Moriah Martin (Eagle River, Alaska) lost a heartbreaker to the Czech Republic’s Tereza Schindlerova when Schindlerova scored a three-point head kick in the final second to pull out a 5-4 win.
Schindlerova would capture a bronze medal on the day along with Mexico’s Melissa Oviedo Cardenas. The gold medal in the female middleweight division was won by Germany’s Yanna Schneider and the silver medal went to Turkey’s Durdane Altunel.
Male middleweight (-73kg) Matthew Morales (Miami, Fla.) lost his opening round match to Sweden’s David Dragisic by a score of 7-2.
The male middleweight gold medal went to Korea’s Jong-Hun Won, the silver to Greece’s Apostolos Telikostoglou, and the bronze medals to Canada’s Erik Pec Gibski and Romania’s Zsolt Feher.
Three more days of action remain at the Junior World Championships. Here is the lineup for the American team for the remainder of the week:
Friday, April 6
Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.) female featherweight (-49kg)
Gabriel Chadis (Alvin, Texas) male featherweight (-55kg)
Danielle Gay (Rhinebeck, N.Y.) female light heavyweight (-68kg)
Brandon Ivey (Ashburn, Va.) male light heavyweight (-78kg)
Saturday, April 7
Kelsey Junious (South Windsor, Conn.) female finweight (-42kg)
Ethan Gallegos (Bakersfield, Calif.) male finweight (-45kg)
Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.) female welterweight (-55kg)
Malik Taylor (Littleton, Colo.) male welterweight (-63kg)
Sunday, April 8
Alexandria Carino (Bakersfield, Calif.) female flyweight (-44kg)
Zachery Budde (Maple Grove, Minn.) male flyweight (-48kg)
Alexxis Grosso (Anaheim, Calif.) female light middleweight (-59kg)
Alec Coopman (Kapolei, Hawaii) male light middleweight (-68kg)