Tokyo 2021-Taekwondo: Tunisian Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi silver medalist
Unisian taekwondoist Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi (right) congratulated by Italian Vito Dell'Aquila after his victory in the final of the Olympic Games on July 24, 2021. REUTERS - MURAD SEZER
Text by: Nicolas Bamba Follow
First medal for the African continent in the Tokyo Olympics.
Taekwondoist Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi narrowly lost in the under 58 kilo final on Saturday against Italy's Vito Dell'Aquila.
He is a silver medalist, which had not happened to a Tunisian athlete at the Olympics for almost 50 years.
Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi goes down in history.
At barely 19, the Tunisian is Olympic vice-champion.
Gold medalist at the 2019 African Games in the under 58 kilos, then at the African Championships in early June in Senegal in less than 58 kilos, the taekwondoist now has an Olympic medal.
He was adorned with silver, Saturday, July 24, by winning his first three fights before losing narrowly in the final.
The only Tunisian representative in taekwondo in
the Tokyo Olympics
began with a 25-18 victory over Russian Mikhail Artamonov (under neutral banner).
He was then imperial in the quarterfinals against the Ethiopian Solomon Demse (32-9).
In the semifinals, Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi achieved a great performance by beating the South Korean, world number one and reigning world champion Jang Jun (25-19).
🥇🇮🇹 The Italian Vito Dell'aquila wins the Olympic coronation!
Tunisian Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi collapsed in the third round but still offered his country the first medal at # Tokyo2020
▶ ️ Follow the Olympics live: https://t.co/wuA7t8ktsS pic.twitter.com/BKdD7JnDQ8
- France tv sport (@francetvsport) July 24, 2021
In the final, the Tunisian found himself facing the world number two, the Italian Vito Dell'Aquila. This fight for gold has long been to his advantage. By hitting his opponent quickly in the body and head, Jendoubi took the upper hand in the first round. The Italian reacted then but was still behind in the score. It was in the last seconds of the third round that the Tunisian broke down, taking several blows to the body. Dell'Aquila took the advantage and won with a short lead (16-12).
Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi did not hide his disappointment at the end of his fight, but his result remains exceptional.
He is the first African athlete to medal at these Games.
It also brings Tunisia its 14th Olympic medal in its history: 4 in gold, 3 in silver now, and 7 in bronze.
Tunisia's last silver medal at the Olympics dates back to that won by athlete Mohammed Gammoudi over 5,000m in the 1972 edition.
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