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Taekwondo at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Women'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: MEX María Espinoza
Silver: NOR Nina Solheim
Bronze: GBR Sarah Stevenson
BRA Natália Falavigna


The heavy favorite was China’s [Chen Zhong], gold medalist in 2000 and 2004 and the 2007 World Champion. In the quarterfinals she met hometown favorite [Sarah Stevenson], and seemingly defeated the Brit, 1-0, when Stevenson’s late kick, worth two points, was ruled too light to be worth a score. But the British delegation protested, and the protest was upheld, giving Stevenson two points and the victory, 2-1. But that was it for Stevenson, who lost her semi to 2007 World Middleweight Champion [María Espinoza].

In the final Espinoza faced Norway’s [Nina Solheim], who had defeated the 2005 World Champion, Brazil’s [Natália Falavigna], in the semi-finals. The final was an easy victory for Espinoza, who led from the start and was never challenged. Solheim was born in Korea, but she and her twin sister were adopted at seven months old by Norwegian parents.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 María Espinoza 20 Mexico MEX Gold
2 Nina Solheim 29 Norway NOR Silver
3T Natália Falavigna 24 Brazil BRA Bronze
3T Sarah Stevenson 25 Great Britain GBR Bronze
5T Noha Abd Rabo 21 Egypt EGY
5T Karolina Kedzierska 20 Sweden SWE
7T Khaoula Ben Hamza 17 Tunisia TUN
7T Che Chew Chan 25 Malaysia MAS
9T Chen Zhong 25 China CHN
9T Carmen Marton 22 Australia AUS
11T Lorena Benites 26 Ecuador ECU
11T Adriana Carmona 34 Venezuela VEN
11T Nadin Dawani 20 Jordan JOR
11T Yevgeniya Karimova 19 Uzbekistan UZB
11T Kyriaki Kouvari 24 Greece GRE
11T Rosana Simón 19 Spain ESP