Morales and Junious reach Round of 16 at World Junior Taekwondo Championships
The U.S. team was shut out of the medals for the first time in four days during Saturday’s competition at the 9th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Sharm El Shiekh, Egypt. Female welterweight (-55kg) Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.) and female finweight (-42kg) Kelsey Junious (South Windsor, Conn.) did reach the round of 16 on Saturday.
Battling through a pulled hamstring, Morales defeated Jordan’s Natalee Haddad, 4-0, in her opening match, then posted a 3-2 victory over Sweden’s Sandra Hillergren. But she couldn’t overcome her injury and her opponent, Croatia’s Tanja Rastovic, losing by a 3-2 count in the round of 16.
Russia’s Julia Volkova came from behind to beat France’s Estelle Vander Zwaim, 6-3, in the final match of the -55kg class for the gold medal. The bronze went to Kazakhstan’s Zarina Serdaliyeva and Germany’s Anna Lena Froemming.
Junious got off to a rousing start with an 11-3 victory over Azerbaijan’s Zumrud Malikova, but then lost an 8-0 decision to eventual gold medalist Hye-Min Jeong of Korea. Jeong defeated Chinese Taipei’s Wan-Ting Lin in overtime to grab the gold medal. Iran’s Fatemeh Shabannia Mansour and Great Britain’s Asia Bailey each took home a bronze medal.
In men’s action, Ethan Gallegos (Bakersfield, Calif.) lost by point gap to Iran’s Seyed Abbas Sadeghi Tabari in his opening match in the finweight (-45kg) division. Tabari would claim the silver medal after being edged, 4-3, by Russia’s Boris Krasnov in the final. The bronze went to Mexico’s Brandon Plaza Hernandez and the Philippines’ Aaron James Galita.
In the male welterweight (-63kg) class, Malik Taylor was point gapped by Egypt’s Moustafa Alfangry in his first match of the day. Jordan’s Ahmad Abughaush clinched the gold medal with an overtime win against Korea’s Hyeon-ul Lee. China’s Shuai Zhao and Spain’s Eduardo Longobardi Radford claimed the bronze medals.
One day of competition remains with the U.S. medal tally standing at three (one silver and two bronze).
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 > >