On the final day of competition at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico, siblings Steven Lopez and Diana Lopez reached the men’s -80kg quarterfinal and women’s -62kg second round, respectively.
Competition concludes at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships
Welter weight Steven Lopez, a five-time World gold medalist, defeated Tahiti’s Waldeck Defaix, 13-0, in the men's -80kg first round, which he followed with a 7-1 win against No. 7-seed Oussama Oueslati of Tunisia in the second and 3-1 victory against No. 10-seed Juan Sanchez of Puerto Rico in the Round of 16. Lopez lost to No. 15-seed Rene Lizarraga of Mexico, 8-5, in the quarterfinal.
Lopez’s quarterfinal finish was the third time at the 2013 Worlds that an American reached the cusp of medaling. Lauren Hamon reached the women’s -73kg quarterfinal on July 19, and Charlotte Craig reached the women’s -49kg quarterfinal July 16.
Light weight Diana Lopez kicked off the day with a 4-3 win against Aleksandra Uscinska of Poland in the women's -62kg first round. She then lost to No. 6-seed Nina Klaey of Switzerland, 10-2, in the second.
Lizarraga went on to win men’s -80kg silver, and Klaey took women’s -62kg bronze.
Team USA finished the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships with a combined match record of 19-16 and no medals.
Day 6 recap:
Nicole Palma (women's -57kg) reached the Round of 16 and Olie Burton (men's -63kg) fell in the first round at the sixth day of the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico, on July 20.
Feather weight Palma advanced to the women's -57kg second round after a disqualification of Gabon's Stely Mekui. She then defeated Ruxandra Rodgers of Canada, 6-5, before falling to No. 1-seed Yu Zhuo Hou of China, 6-5, in the Round of 16.
No. 9-seed bantam weight Burton lost to Belgium's Jaouad Achab, 7-2, in the men's -63kg first round.
Zhuo Hou advanced to the women’s -57kg quarterfinal, and Achab reached the men’s -63kg Round of 16.
Team USA now has a combined match record of 15-14 and no medals at the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships after six days.
Action concludes on July 21 when two-time World medalist Diana Lopez (women’s -62kg) and five-time World Champion Steven Lopez (men’s -80kg) take to the mat.
Day 5 recap:
Women’s -73kg No. 3-seed Lauren Hamon was the second American to reach the quarterfinal at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships after making her way through the division’s bracket on July 19. First-time World Championships contender Abel Valdivia reached the men’s +87kg Round of 16, and men’s -87kg No. 1-seed Jason Neville fell in the second round on the competition’s fifth day.
Middle weight Hamon led off with a victory against Aliya Mursalimova of Ukraine, 6-1, in the first round, which she followed up with an overtime 0-0 win by decision against Russia’s Guzel Kurbanova. Hamon lost to In-Jong Lee of Korea, 7-0, in the division’s quarterfinal.
Hamon is the second athlete for Team USA to reach the quarterfinals at the 2013 World Championships along with fly weight teammate Charlotte Craig who did it on July 16.
In his World Championships debut, heavy weight Valdivia took his first match, 6-1, against Christos Zeimpekis following a first round bye. Valdivia’s day ended by a 6-2 final in the Round of 16 against No. 1-seed Anthony Obame of Gabon.
Middle weight Neville was awarded a bye in the first round before losing to Iran's Mahdi Khodabakhshi, 9-6, in the second.
Lee and Obame reached the medal rounds in their divisions, while Khodabakhshi reached the men’s -87kg quarterfinal.
Team USA now has a combined match record of 13-12 and no medals at the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships after five days.
Day 4 recap:
For the first time at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico, Team USA sent three fighters on the same day as Logan Gerick (men's -54kg), Cheyenne Lewis (women's -53kg) and La Shondra Rawls (women's +73kg) took to the mat July 18.
Following a first round bye, No. 12-seed bantam weight Lewis defeated Sabina Mikayilova of Azerbaijan, 3-2, in the women's -53kg second round before falling to No. 5-seed Kim Yu-Jin of Korea, 8-7, in the Round of 16.
Fin weight Gerick’s day began with a victory over Macau’s Chon-In Chan, 14-5, in the men's -54kg first round. No. 6-seed Harold Avella of Colombia eliminated Gerick in the second round with a 13-7 victory.
Heavy weight Rawls lost her only match of the day to Briseida Acosta of Mexico, 8-6, in the women's +73kg opening round.
Avella reached the men’s -54kg Round of 16, while Yu-Jin and Acosta advanced to the women’s -53kg and +73kg divisions’ medal rounds, respectively.
Team USA now has a combined match record of 10-9 and no medals at the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships after the first four days.
Action continues for Team USA on July 19 when Lauren Hamon (women's -73kg No. 3-seed), Jason Neville (men's -87kg No. 1-seed) and Abel Valdivia (men's +87kg) suit up.
Follow all the action on the USAT website, Facebook, Twitter @usa_taekwondo and join the conversation using #teamusaworlds. Live streaming of the event can also be found here.
Day 3 recap:
2012 Olympic bronze medalists Terrence Jennings (men's -68kg) and Paige McPherson (women's -67kg) advanced to the Round of 16 in their respective divisions before elimination at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico, on July 17.
Following a first round bye, the No. 5-seed featherweight Jennings defeated Thomas Afonczenko of Australia, 10-3, in the men's -68kg second round. Jennings then knocked off Cyprus’s Marios Fyllakoudias, 8-3, in the third. Jenning’s day ended at the hands of No. 21-seed Luis Colon of Puerto Rico, who delivered an 18-8 upset in the Round of 16.
Welterweight McPherson, the No. 3-seed in the women’s -67kg division, did not compete in her first match until the late afternoon due to a first round DQ of opponent Urgence Mouegha of Gabon. McPherson’s first fight of the day came in the Round of 16 against Qing Liu of Macau, who defeated McPherson, 1-0, in overtime.
Colon and Liu both advanced to their respective divisions' quarterfinals.
Team USA now has a combined match record of 8-6 and no medals at the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships after the first three days.
July 18 will be the first time that Team USA sends three fighters on the same day at this year’s World Championships as Logan Gerick (men's -54kg), Cheyenne Lewis (women's -53kg) and La Shondra Rawls (women's +73kg) take to the mat.
Day 2 recap:
Women’s fly weight Charlotte Craig reached the cusp of medaling before falling in the women’s -49kg quarterfinal July 16 at the WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico. Craig’s top-eight finish was the best U.S. finish after two days of competition at Worlds.
Craig’s day began with a 4-1 victory over Cypress’ Despina Pilavaki, and she continued through the bracket by knocking off Jessica Rovira of Andora, 9-1, and Germany’s Sabrina Noelp, 4-2. Craig then lost to Yania Aguirre of Cuba, 8-5, in the quarterfinals.
Men’s light weight Mark Lopez lost his only fight of the day to Cuba’s Jose Cobas, 7-2, in the men's -74kg first round.
Aguirre went on earn bronze, and Cobas lost in the Round of 16.
Action continues on July 17, as 2012 Olympic bronze medalists Terrence Jennings (men’s -68kg) and Paige McPherson (women’s -67kg) look to get Team USA onto the medal stand. _________________________________________________________________________________________________
Day 1 recap:
Team USA kicked off the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico, with a 2-2 match record on July 15 after men’s fly weight James Howe won his first two matches of the day before losing in the Round of 16, and women’s fin weight Gigi Gil lost her first round fight.
Howe started the day in the men’s -58kg division with a convincing 15-1 victory against Salia Ouattara of Gabon, which he followed up with a 9-8 win over Canada’s Vincent Foster. Howe’s day ended in the third round against Russia's Ruslan Poiseev, 6-2.
In her first World Championships as a senior fighter, Gil lost to Virginia Dellan of Venezuela, 4-1, in the opening round of the women's -46kg division.
Poiseev and Dellan both advanced to their respective quarterfinals.
Action continues July 16 for Team USA when World medalists Charlotte Craig (women's-49kg) and Mark Lopez (men's-74kg) take the mat. Craig won bronze in 2007, and Lopez won gold in 2005, silver in 2003 and bronze in 1999 and 2009.
For full 2013 World Taekwondo Championships matchup brackets, click here.
After winning four medals at the Spanish Open and five at the U.S. Open earlier this year, Team USA looks to continue a strong 2013 international campaign at the WTF World Championships, which begin July 15 in Puebla, Mexico.
Following Team USA’s only medal-free World Championships at the 2011 Worlds in Gyeongju, South Korea, the U.S. looks to bounce back as it turns its attention to Puebla. The 16-member team heads to Mexico with an abundance of international experience, including six Olympians, 12 World Championships medals and nine team members with World Championships experience. From July 15-21, Team USA has the opportunity to continue World Championships success that has seen 17 World medals won in the last decade.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Team USA to show the continuing progress and success of this program,” said USAT Interim CEO Bruce Harris. “We are proud of all our athletes and wish them the very best in Mexico. No matter the outcome, we know they will represent their country well.”
The WTF World Taekwondo Championships staff members are: National Team head coach Patrice Remarck; coaches Arlene Limas, Jean Lopez, Juan Moreno, Sherman Nelson, Jason Poos and Joseph Salim; USAT High Performance Director Meredith Miller; and medical staff members Christina Allen, Jennifer Gibson, Casey Ho and Jasper Richardson.
Stay tuned to the USAT website, Twitter handle @usa_taekwondo and www.wtf.org for live updates and results.
The competition schedule for Team USA is as follows (all start times are 10 a.m. EDT/9 a.m. CDT):
Giuliana “Gigi” Gil (women's fin) and James Howe (men's fly)
Charlotte Craig (women's fly) and Mark Lopez (men's light)
Paige McPherson (women's welter) and Terrence Jennings (men's feather)
Cheyenne Lewis (women's bantam), La Shondra Rawls (women's heavy) and Logan Gerick (men's fin)
Lauren Hamon (women's middle), Jason Neville (men's middle) and Abel Valdivia (men's heavy)
Nicole Palma (women's feather) and Olie Burton (men's bantam)
Diana Lopez (women's light) and Steven Lopez (men's welter)