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Taekwondo at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's Welterweight

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium, Beijing
Date Started: August 22, 2008
Date Finished: August 22, 2008
Format: Single-elimination tournament. All fighters losing to the finalists in each pool advance to repêchage tournament for the bronze medal.

Gold: IRI Hadi Saei
Silver: ITA Mauro Sarmiento
Bronze: USA Steven Lopez
CHN Zhu Guo


[Steven Lopez] had won this event in Athens in 2004 and had won a gold medal in the featherweight class at Sydney in 2000, and was also a four-time World Champion coming in to Beijing. But he was expecting to be challenged by Iran’s [Hadj Saei], the 2004 featherweight gold medalist and 2005 World Lightweight Champion, who was moving up in class. Lopez’s brother, [Mark], had already won a silver medal in the featherweight class, while his sister, [Diana], would win a bronze medal in the women’s featherweight class.

The first round saw Lopez with a difficult draw, facing Turkey’s [Bahri Tanrıkulu], who Lopez had defeated for gold in the Athens final, and who was the 2007 World Champion in middleweight, not an Olympic class. Lopez won, but would not make the final, being upset in the semis by Italian [Mauro Sarmiento], whose previous podium finishes included a silver and bronze at the last two editions of the Universiade. Sarmiento met Saei in the final, who advanced with no major problems. The final match was close, with Saei scoring on two kicks in the final round to win, 6-4.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Hadi Saei 32 Iran IRI Gold
2 Mauro Sarmiento 25 Italy ITA Silver
3T Steven Lopez 29 United States USA Bronze
3T Zhu Guo 23 China CHN Bronze
5T Rəşəd Əhmədov 27 Azerbaijan AZE
5T Aaron Cook 17 Great Britain GBR
7T Deepak Bista 32 Nepal NEP
7T N'Guessan Sebastien Konan 28 Cote d'Ivoire CIV
9T Sébastien Michaud 21 Canada CAN
9T Carlos Vásquez 25 Venezuela VEN
11T Lionel Baguissi 34 Gabon GAB
11T Miguel Ferrera 27 Honduras HON
11T Anju Jason 20 Marshall Islands MHL
11T Angel Román 24 Puerto Rico PUR
11T Abdulqader Sarhan 20 Qatar QAT
11T Bahri Tanrıkulu 28 Turkey TUR