Lebanese Taekwondo at the 28th Summer Universiade Gwangju 2015
17 Jul. 2015 – Our only hope for a medal at the 28th Universiade Gwangju 2015, was in Taekwondo but unfortunately the team wasn’t able to grab any medal but our fighters delivered their best and fought till the last second of their matches.
Georges HADDAD (USJ) (Men’s -63kg) was maybe the one who was least expected to win because it’s been a long time since he competed in a championship, but his determination and will to prove to everyone what he is capable of, helped him deliver one of the best matches in this Universiade, winning 17-15 (5-7, 3-5, 9-3) against the Omani fighter. He was able to deliver his best in the last round and score 9 points to overcome the Omani. In his next match (round of 16), he lost against the Brazilian fighter 10-3 (1-1, 0-6, 2-3) but we noticed that he was the one with the best physical condition among our Lebanese players due to his athletic training. We should mention that he was very close to make the athletics team for this Universiade in the 800 meters.
Leonardo CHEIBAN (LAU) (Men’s -68kg) delivered two of the best matches in this Universiade by winning the first round in 5-3 (2-0, 3-1, 2-0) against Mongolia, earning four points by attack and one point by penalty. He was then defeated in only 3-2 (1-3, 0-0, 1-0) against the Spanish fighter, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2009 world champion!
Michel SAMAHA (USEK) (Men’s -74kg) the bronze medalist at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010 couldn’t win his first match (round of 32) against the German, Ewald GLESMANN, and lost 15-7 (5-4, 0-8, 2-3) earning 6 points by attack and 1 point by penalty.
Tarek MOUSSALLI (NDU) (Men’s -80kg) was one of the three fighters to win his first match against Colombia in 9-8 (1-2, 0-2, 8-4) after giving everything he had in the last round where he earned 8 points to zero! But he lost in the round of 16, 11-0, against the Chinese fighter.
Elias HEDARY (NDU) (Men’s +85kg) was our only hope for a medal but he was defeated in the first round against the Russian Arsen RSINARIDZE in 5-2 (1-0 4-0 1-1). Elias will be fighting for a place on the Olympic Team at the Olympic Qualifications that will be held at the beginning of 2016.
In the women’s, the best match was delivered by Sara Lynn TANIOS (LAU) (Women’s -62kg) who was leading 5-4 before 30 seconds of the last round when she decided to attack instead of setting back and received 5 points by the Australian fighter to end the match in 5-9.
Anna Maria KHAWAND (NDU) (Women’s -67kg) lost her first fight 27-2 against Gulim BIBALAYEVA from Kazakhstan.
Both, Pia BITAR (Antonins) (Women’s -49kg) and Roba ABOU RJEILY (NDU) (Women’s -73kg) had to withdraw due to injury.
The coaches Marc HARB and Mark RJEILY were there to lead their players to deliver the best they have.