Taiwanese Su Po-ya on Friday beat a South Korean rival to capture gold in the women’s taekwondo under-53kg division at the Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy.
Su overwhelmed Ha Min-ah to win by 10-4 and claim gold, the sixth won by Taiwan at the Universiade thus far.
The final was a repeat of the gold medal bout in the same weight division at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta, where Su defeated Ha 29-10.
Friday’s battle was a far more defensive affair, with the two athletes tied 1-1 after two rounds in the three-round bout.
However, Su, ranked seventh in the world in her weight class, finally pierced her opponent’s defenses in the final round to secure victory.
Whether Su’s success will translate into a spot on the nation’s Olympic taekwondo team next year remains a major question, as the Games have an abbreviated taekwondo program that includes an under-57kg division, but not Su’s under-53kg division.
Her gold medal brought Taiwan’s total haul in the sport at this year’s Universiade to nine, with one gold, six silvers and two bronzes.
South Korea leads in total taekwondo medals with 11, including seven golds, followed by Iran with 10.
As of press time last night, Taiwan ranked seventh in total medals with seven golds, 13 silvers and seven bronzes for a total of 27.
The total was far fewer than the 90 they won in 2017, when the Universiade was held in Taipei.
Russia was leading the medal count with 70, followed by Japan with 69, the US with 51 and South Korea with 45.
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