Female featherweight Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.) won the silver medal during Friday's competition at the 9th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. It was the third medal for the U.S. in as many days. Female heavyweight Crystal Weekes (Staten Island, N.Y.) and female bantamweight Gigi Gil (Camarillo, Calif.) captured bronze medals on the first two days of the tournament.
Lewis, the defending junior world champion in the flyweight division, nearly became the second American to claim two junior world titles. 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) accomplished the feat in 1998 and 2000.
After defeating Turkey's Damla Sezgin in her opening match, Lewis had a tooth-and-nail battle with the host country's Rana Samir that went in Lewis' favor via superiority after the two fighters endured a scoreless sudden-death overtime period. Having survived that tight battle, Lewis got back on track with a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei's Zhi Han Gao in the quarterfinal round and a dominating 20-0 victory over Irene Pasiouli of Cyprus in the semifinals. That match was halted after the second round via the 12-point gap rule.
In the final of the -49kg division, Lewis found herself in another closely fought match with Russia's Anastasia Pankina. The two fighters battled scoreless through the entire fight until Pankina landed the winning kick with 10 seconds left in the match. Pasiouli won the bronze along with Iran’s Atousa Zahrabiparvaresh.
Other Americans in action on Friday were male light heavyweight (-78kg) Brandon Ivey (Ashburn, Va.), female light heavyweight Danielle Gay (Rhinebeck, N.Y.) and male featherweight Gabriel Chadis (Alvin, Texas).
Ivey and Gay both advanced to the round of 16. Ivey defeated Jordan's Ahmad Kattan before losing to Germany's Nikos Karamangiolis who would go on to win the silver medal. Gay beat Australia's Cheyenne Cameron and then lost to Slovenia's Dunja Leamjic. Chadis was defeated by Iran's Seyed Mojtaba Keramati in his opening match.
Medalists in the male light heavyweight (-78kg) were Iran’s Pouria Erfaniandaneshvar (gold), Karamangiolis (silver), Serbia’s Bojan Stefanovski (bronze) and Russia’s Aslan Dzagoev (bronze).
Female light heavyweight (-68kg) medalists were Azerbaijan’s Farida Azizova (gold), Netherlands’ Aylin Akdeniz (silver), Mexico’s Jacqueline Rose Galloway (bronze) and Thailand’s Kanjana Sukeewas (bronze).
Male featherweight (-55kg) medalists were Korea’s Yeong Seok Kim (gold), France’s Dylan Chellamootoo (silver), Italy’s Marcello Porcaro (bronze) and Poland’s Karol Robak (bronze).
Two more days of action remain at the Junior World Championships. Here is the lineup for the American team for the remainder of the week:
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)
View the brackets for each division HERE > >