(May 12, 2015) -- The 2015 World Taekwondo Championships kicked off on Tuesday in Chelyabinsk, Russia, with the women's finweight (-46kg) and men's flyweight (-58kg) divisions taking center stage.
Competing in her first world championships, 17-year-old Kelsey Junious (South Windsor, Conn.) won her first match of the day before losing in the round of 16 to the host country's own Maria Smirnova. Junious started off with a 12-2 victory over Denmark's Charlotte Bjelke before falling to Smirnova by a score of 11-7.
In the men's flyweight division, Drew Pluemer (Coppell, Texas), also competing in his first world championships, advanced to the round of 128 with a disqualification win over Israel's Ron Atias. In his next match, Pluemer battled hard against Kazakhstan's Nursultan Mamayek, but lost a close 2-1 decision.
The semifinals and finals of both divisions will be held on Wednesday. Competing for the medals in the women's finweight (-46kg) class will be Iryna Romoldanova (UKR), Wan-Ting Lin (TPE), Iris Tang Sing (BRA) and Panipak Wongpattanakit (THA). In the men's flyweight division (-58kg), the final four consists of Farzan Ashour Zadeh Fallah (IRI), Ruslan Poiseev (RUS), Shuai Zhao (CHN) and Si Mohamed Ketbi (WTF). Full brackets can be found HERE, and watch a recap of the day's action HERE.
Competion continues on Wednesday with female flyweight (-49kg) Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.) and male lightweight (-74kg) TJ Curry (Hercules, Calif.) taking to the mat for the United States. Craig, 24, is competing in her fourth world championships. She won a bronze medalist in 2007 at her first world championship at the age of 16. Craig will face the winner of the match between Tanja Pasanen (FIN) and Charlie Maddock (GBR) in the round of 32. Curry will take on San Marino's Francesco Seynghyun Maiani in the round of 64.