Mon, Jul 04, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Yang Shu-chun fights way to berth in London Games

Staff Writer, with CNA, BAKU

Taiwan’s Yang Shu-chun, right, tries to land a kick against her opponent during an Olympic qualifying event on Saturday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Photo: Yeh Shih-hung, Taipei Times

Taiwan’s Yang Shu-chun finished third in a world qualifying competition on Saturday in Baku to earn a place in next year’s London Olympics.

Yang is the first Taiwanese taekwondo competitor to qualify for the Olympics in the under-49kg category.

The top three finishers from each weight category in the Azerbaijan qualifying tournament secured a berth in the Olympics, according to the World Taekwondo Federation regulations.

Yang cruised past Raya Hatahet of Jordan 6-0 in her first bout and advanced to the quarter-finals after defeating Jyra Marie Lizardo of the Philippines in the second round.

In the quarter-finals, Yang lost the first match to Mexico’s Jannet Alegria Pena, but won her second bout, which put her through to the semi-finals.

Yang lost to Wu Jingyu of China in the semi-finals, but secured third place after defeating Yajaira Peguero of the Dominican Republic in a playoff.

“I’m very happy to help our team win a berth to the London Olympic Games,” Yang said after the competition.

Regarding her loss to Wu — the winner of the 2009 and this year’s World Taekwondo Championships — Yang said she had learned new skills.

“When I return to Taipei, I need to practice even harder to improve my fast action skills before the London Olympics,” she said.

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