Mongolia and Iran shared the spoils at the inaugural men’s Asian Para-Taekwondo Championships, claiming two gold medals each in Taipei City.
Shinebayar Batbayar and Bolor-Erdene Ganbat delivered for Mongolia in the K42 and K44 under 61 kilograms categories respectively, while Iran’s Mahdi Pourrahnama took top honours in the K44 under 75kg and compatriot Asghar Aziziaghdam triumphed in the K44 over 75kg.
Ganbat brushed aside a stiff challenge from South Korea’s Han Kook-hyun to win his final match 8-4, but the task was more difficult for Batbayar who had to come from behind to beat Iran’s Ahmad Narimani 16-14.
“Now my dream is to compete in the taekwondo competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games for the gold medal,” said Batbayar afterwards.
Pourrahnama easily defeated the United Arab Emirates’ Ali Mohammed Almahri 20-1 in the second round of his final match, and Aziziaghdam also won comfortably, 12-4 against the United States’ Evan Medell.
The first-ever Asian Para-taekwondo Championships, which took place at the University of Taipei’s gymnasium, were open to participation by all World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) member nations and attracted a total of 23 male athletes from 10 countries.
Joining Iran, Mongolia, South Korea, the UAE and the US were representatives of Nepal, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Japan and Kazakhstan.
Last year, the WTF launched a new ranking system to build on the high level of performance that has become standard for Para-taekwondo.
The grade of each competition determines the number of ranking points one can earn through their performances with winners of G8 tournaments earning 80 points compared to 10 for winners of G1 contests.
G4 world ranking points were awarded to Asian Taekwondo Union athletes in Taipei City, while athletes from other continents were awarded G2 world ranking points.
A KP&P protector and scoring system and an instant video replay system were both used at the one-day event, which also included three demonstration matches.
Modified competition rules were also implemented with kicks to the head banned and points not awarded for punches.
A valid kick to the body earned an athlete one point, while a turning kick to the body was worth three points.
The duration of each contest was three rounds of one minute and 30 seconds, with a one-minute break between rounds.