Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): State Sports Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 28, 2000
Date Finished: September 28, 2000
Format: Single-elimination tournament. All fighters losing to the finalists in each pool advance to repêchage tournament for the bronze medal.
The favorite in this class was Iran’s Hadj Sayed Bonehkohal, who had won three World Championships, the most recent in 1999 in the lightweight class. He had to move down in weight to compete in the 68 kg. class at Sydney. But Bonehkohal was upset in the semi-finals by Korea’s Sin Joon-Sik. In the final, Sin faced Steve Lopez of the United States. Lopez was a five-time US champion who had won the 1999 Pan-American Games gold medal. Lopez came from a family with three siblings who were world class taekwondo fighters, brothers Jean and Mark, and sister Diana. Diana and Mark narrowly failed to make the qualifying for the Sydney Olympics, but both would become World Champions in 2005. In the Olympic final, Lopez and Sin were tied near the end of the match when the referee, Flavio Pérez of Colombia, deducted a point from Sin’s score because of penalties he had incurred during the match. This was not in accordance with the taekwondo rules and Pérez was suspended for this action but the result was allowed to stand.
|1||Steven Lopez||21||United States||USA||Gold|
|2||Sin Jun-Sik||20||South Korea||KOR||Silver|
|11T||Hsu Chi-Hung||21||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|11T||Nizar Mohamed Naeeli||24||Libya||LBA|