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Iran taekwondoka fighter wins place at Rio Olympics Games

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian female taekwondo practitioner Kimia Alizadeh

Iranian female taekwondo practitioner Kimia Alizadeh has demonstrated praiseworthy performances at the Asian Qualification Tournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Philippines, and managed to secure four quota places for the high-status event.

On Sunday, Alizadeh took part in the women’s minus 57-kilogram weight category contests at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City, Manila, and grabbed the gold medal after defeating Thailand’s Phannapa Harnsujin 3-2 in the final encounter.

The 17-year-old had earlier received a bye in the first round before defeating Shaleha Fitriana Yusuf from Indonesia 19-0 in the quarter-finals.

Alizadeh later overwhelmed Nepalese contestant Neema Gurung 15-2 in the semi-final round and progressed to the final.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am so happy to win the gold medal. I am really happy that I made the Iranian people happy as well,” Alizadeh said. “My goal is to win a medal in the Olympic Games. I will do my best to accomplish my goal in the event,” she added.

The Asian Qualification Tournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Games started in Manila, the Philippines, on April 16 and finished the following day.

A total of 98 athletes from 36 Asian countries competed in eight weight categories.

While men vied in minus 58-kilogram, minus 68-kilogram, minus 80-kilogram and over 80-kilogram classes, female taekwondo fighters took part in minus 49-kilogram, minus 57-kilogram, minus 67-kilogram and over 67-kilogram weight divisions.

The winner and runner-up in each weight category claimed an Olympic qualification spot for their respective countries.

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