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Taekwondo at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium, Beijing
Date Started: August 23, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008
Format: Single-elimination tournament. All fighters losing to the finalists in each pool advance to repêchage tournament for the bronze medal.

Gold: KOR Ja Dong-Min
Silver: GRE Alexandros Nikolaidis
Bronze: NGR Chika Chukwumerije
KAZ Arman Chilmanov


The final came down to the 2004 silver medalist, Greece’s [Alexandros Nikolaidis], against the unknown Korean, [Cha Dong-Min]. But as they prepared for their match, Cuba’s [Ángel Matos], the 2000 welterweight gold medalist, faced Kazakhstan’s [Arman Chilmanov], 2007 World Championship middleweight bronze medalist, for a bronze medal. Matos led late in the second round, when he took an injury time-out. But while recovering, he was disqualified by Swedish referee Chakir Chelbat, who felt that Matos had taken too much time. This was not well received by Matos or his coach, Leodis González, who vociferously protested the call. Matos then kicked Chelbat in the face before he had to be escorted out by security. Matos’s disqualification was upheld, and he and his coach were further given lifetime bans from the sport for their behavior.

After that episode the final was anticlimactic. Nikolaidis took an early lead, but Cha evened the match in the final round and then won the gold medal with a late kick. Although Cha was unknown in 2008, he won a World Championship silver as a middleweight in 2011, and won titles in heavyweight at the 2009 East Asian Games and the 2012 Asian Championships.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ja Dong-Min 21 South Korea KOR Gold
2 Alexandros Nikolaidis 28 Greece GRE Silver
3T Arman Chilmanov 24 Kazakhstan KAZ Bronze
3T Chika Chukwumerije 24 Nigeria NGR Bronze
5 Akmal Ergashev 25 Uzbekistan UZB
6T Kristopher Moitland 24 Costa Rica CRC
6T Abdelkader Zrouri 31 Morocco MAR
8T Daba Modibo Keita 27 Mali MLI
8T Liu Xiaobo 24 China CHN
10T Leonardo Basile 25 Italy ITA
10T Matt Beach 30 New Zealand NZL
10T Mickäel Borot 33 France FRA
10T Juan Díaz 27 Venezuela VEN
10T Jon García 30 Spain ESP
10T Nguyễn Văn Hùng 28 Vietnam VIE
AC Ángel Matos 31 Cuba CUB DQ