ANGEL VOLODIA MATOS, ATLETA CUBANO, GOLPEA A ARBITRO EN LA OLIMPIADA BEIJING 2008
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Cuban athlete might be banned after kicking ref
“We didn’t expect anything like what you have witnessed to occur,” said WTF secretary general Yang Jin-suk. “I am at a loss for words.”
Yang also recommended Matos’ coach be banned.
Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden, who will require stitches in his lip. Matos spat on the floor and was escorted out.
“This is an insult to the Olympic vision, an insult to the spirit of taekwondo and, in my opinion, an insult to mankind,” Yang said.
Matos’ coach was unapologetic.
In his first match, Matos defeated Italy’s Leonardo Basile, then beat China’s Liu Xiaobo 2-1 in the quarterfinals. But he lost to South Korean Cha Dong-min in the semis to land in the bronze-medal match.
“To me it was obvious he was unable to continue,” Chilmanov said. “His toe on his left foot was broken.”
Matos won the gold medal in this division—the men’s over 80-kilograms (176 pounds)—at the 2000 Sydney Games, dedicating the victory to his mother, who died on the day of the opening ceremony. At the 2004 Athens Games, he finished 11th.
Matos’ bad behavior followed a day of confusion on the mats and ended the four-day taekwondo competition, which was marred by several protests against judge’s calls.
The decision brought loud jeers from the crowd. China did not appeal.
It was the first time a match result has been overturned since taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 1990.
( Match referee Chakir Chelbat o… )
AP - Aug 23, 8:40 am EDT “It’s been a really tough day, an emotional rollercoaster,” Stevenson said. “I would have been devastated if they hadn’t changed the decision.”
Stevenson won bronze, along with Brazil’s Natalia Falavigna.
Cha made it four-for-four gold medals for South Korea. In taekwondo, countries are allowed to enter only four athletes.
Cha fell behind when Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece nailed him with a head kick 15 seconds into the bout. But he came back with a body kick and a head shot of his own to take back the lead, adding another point to go 4-3 going into the third round.
Nikolaidis evened it out at 4-4 with a body kick, but Cha scored with just 18 seconds left to claim the gold in the men’s over-80 kg (176 pounds) division.
Nikolaidis said he felt the judging was bad in the gold-medal match as well.
“I don’t think in press conferences we should discuss referees and things,” he said. “But I think I deserved a couple of things that didn’t come to me.”
Daba Modibo Keita of Mali, the 2007 world champion, was defeated in overtime in the quarterfinals by Nigeria’s Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, who ended up with the other bronze.
Associated Press writer Carlos Rodriguez contributed to this report.