McPherson Ends U.S. Medal Drought With Bronze

Photos from Day 4 of the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Championships

May 15, 2015, 10:40 a.m. (ET)

(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. Watch a replay of the match HERE.

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.

Three other weight divisions held preliminary rounds on Friday. In the female bantamweight (-53kg) division, Samantha Leong (Chino Hills, Calif.), competing in her first world championships, won her first two matches to advance to the round of 16. Leong defeated Spain's Tania Garcia Romero, 9-7, in the round of 64 (watch the match HERE), then scored a 6-5 overtime victory over Tunisia's Rahma Ben Ali to reach the round of 16 (watch the match HERE). A 14-6 loss to Korea's Geum-Byeol Lim ended Leong's day (watch the match HERE). Lim went on to qualify for Saturday's medal round along with Andriana Asprogeraka of Greece, Yun-Wen Huang of Chinese Taipei and Ana Zaninovic of Croatia.

In female heavyweight (+73kg) action, Lauren Hamon (Coral Gables, Fla.), competing in her fifth career world championships, lost her round of 32 matchup in overtime, 2-1, to Korea's Shin-bi Kim after Hamon incurred two deductions in the overtime period (watch the match HERE). Also dropping his first match of the day was Logan Gerick (Keller, Texas), as he fell 14-8 to Turkmenistan's Aleksandr Kuvarzin in the round of 64 in the male finweight (-54kg) class (watch the match HERE).

Advancing to the medal round in the female heavyweight division were Turkey's Nafia Kus, Great Britain's Bianca Walkden, France's Gwladys Epangue and Russia's Olga Ivanova. the male finweight semifinalists are Brazil's Venilton Teixeira, Russia's Stanislav Denisov, Thailand's Ramnarong Sawekwihare and Korea's Tai-hun Kim.

Full brackets of the Friday's bouts can be found HERE, while videos of the matches can be viewed HERE.

Day five of the WTF World Championships on Saturday will also feature the female middleweight (-73kg), male middleweight (-87kg) and male heavyweight (+87kg) divisions. Team USA will be represented by Jackie Galloway (Wylie, Texas) in the female middleweight division, Phillip Yun (Oakland, Calif.) in the male middleweight class, and Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas) in the male heavyweight competition.

FRIDAY'S MEDAL ROUND RESULTS

Female -67kg
1. Chia Chia Chuang (TPE)
2. Nur Tatar (TUR)
3. Paige McPherson (USA)
3. Katherine Dumar (COL)

Male -68kg
1. Servet Tazegul (TUR)
2. Alexey Denisenko (RUS)
3. Jose Antonio Rosillo Atencia (ESP)
3. Dong-yun Shin (KOR)

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