HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 12, 2018) -- Team USA notched its second medal in as many days as the World Taekwondo Junior Championships continued in Tunisia. CJ Nickolas (Brentwood, Calif.) took the silver medal in the male -68kg division on Thursday, one day after Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) won gold in the female -52kg class.
Nickolas breezed through his first two matches of the day with a 29-1 win over Somalia's Abdullah Fuad Dahir and a 23-5 victory against Italy's Andrea Riondino to reach the round of 16. He then scored a 12-3 win over Afghanistan's Rashid Sarwari and edged Chinese Taipei's Cheng-Chi Wei in overtime to advance to the medal round.
In his semifinal match with Serbia's Dusan Bozanic, Nickolas broke a 8-8 tie with a scoring kick in the final 10 seconds to prevail and move on to the final. The gold-medal match against Iran's Mohammad Mahdi Emadi saw Nickolas fall behind 5-1 after two rounds and then 13-2 early in the third. The American would rally to pull within 13-8 in the final minute but Emadi held off the charge to win by a score of 18-10 and claim the gold medal.
Elsewhere, Aliyah Shipman reached the round of 16 in the female -59kg division. She scored a point-gap victory over Moldova's Loredana Porescu (23-3) in her opening match before falling to eventual silver medalist Ju-A Park of Korea, 26-6. Julie Zlochevskiy from Minnesota and Zak Day (Littleton, Colo.) both lost their opening matches. Zlochevskiy was defeated by Egypt's Yomna Ahmed, 7-2, in the female -63kg division, while Day lost to Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Alsowaiq, 22-7 in the male -73kg class.
The World Junior Championships conclude on Friday with four more Americans in action. Evan Gray (Atlanta, Ga.) will fight in the male -78kg division, Vlado Duvnjak of Minnesota competes in the male +78kg class, Alena Viana of Nevada is in action in the female -68kg division, and Mason Porch from New Mexico fights in the female +68kg class.
Friday, April 13
Evan Gray (Atlanta, Ga.) - Male -78kg
Vlado Duvnjak (Minn.) - Male +78kg
Alena Viana (Nev.) - Female -68kg
Mason Porch (N.M.) - Female +68kg
The team is being coached by Gergely Salim, Dennis White, Dennis Kim and Eui Lee.
Follow USA Taekwondo's website (www.usa-taekwondo.us) and social media pages for updates throughout the week.