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Paige McPherson Ends USA Taekwondo World Medal Drought

By USA Taekwondo | May 15, 2015, 12:38 p.m. (ET)

Paige McPherson (red) won bronze in the women's welterweight -67 kg. division at the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Championships on May 15, 2015 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

(May 15, 2015) -- Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) won a bronze medal in the women's welterweight (-67kg) division on Friday at the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, to end a six-year medal drought for the United States at the event. McPherson won three matches on Thursday to reach Friday's medal round.

In Friday's semfinal, McPherson faced a taller opponent in Chinese Taipei's Chia Chia Chuang. The first round of the contest was mostly a feeling out round with Chuang gaining a 1-0 advantage with a late score. Making adjustments between rounds and heeding advice from her coach, Juan Moreno, McPherson scored two straight front kicks in the second round to jump out to a 2-1 lead, but Chuang countered with a three-point back kick to move back in front, 4-2, at the end of the round.

In the final round, McPherson struggled to get inside the long reach of Chuang but did score a point with just under a minute remaining in the match to draw to within 4-3. As McPherson pressed to tie the match in the final 10 seconds, Chuang was able to counter with another point to go up 5-3. Two straight warnings to Chuang for stepping out of bounds in the closing seconds gave a point to McPherson to make the final tally 5-4.

Chuang would go on to win the gold medal over Turkey's Nur Tatar in the final, while Colombia's Katherine Dumar took home the other bronze medal.

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Paige McPherson