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1999 World Tae Kwon Do Championships

Dateline: 10/04/99

Well, as a member of the cable-deprived, I didn't get to see the 1999 World Tae Kwon Do Championships, held in Edmonton, Canada this past June, until last week. But even after four months, the bouts were as exciting and action packed as could be. Televised on ESPN2 in the U.S., the tournament showcased the best tae kwon do stylists anywhere.

As I expected, the South Korean team dominated the standings, gathering 9 gold medals. But Europe and the Middle East had a good turnout in the medal rounds, including the Iran-Turkey men's middleweight final, and the Spanish women's 5 medals.

The tournament consisted of five days of sparring competition. ESPN2's coverage consisted mainly of final round matches, with particular focus on Team USA's bouts. Rules were the standard WTF tournament rules, requiring clean strikes to the torso or face to score points.

This competition really emphasized the fact that tae kwon do is truly a world sport. The Championships hosted 550 athletes from 66 countries around the world. Undoubtedly, many of these athletes will be the ones to watch in next year's Summer Olympics in Sydney.

That is, of course, if they make the cut. The TKD World Championships had 8 weight classes, allowing each country to field a fairly large team. However, Olympic TKD competition has only 4 weight classes. Each country will therefore have to pick the best of the best to represent them in the Y2K Olympics.

From my vantage point, watching the bouts on cable TV, one thing was clear: speed is everything. In each bout, first-strike reflexes racked up the winning points. In most weight classes, the ability to fire off quick attacks was often the deciding factor.

Here's the results of the championship matches:

Finweight division Men
(under 119 lbs)
(under 103.6 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Byeong-Seok Min Korea Asencio Belen Spain
Silver Roberto Cruz Philippines Song-Hee Yoon Korea
Bronze Wei Chun Chen Chinese Taipei Kadriye Selimogou Turkey
Bronze July Mercedes Dominican Republic France Pouzoulet France


Flyweight division Men
(119-127.9 lbs)
(103.6-112.4 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Jong-Il Yoon Korea Shu Ju Chi Chinese Taipei
Silver Abror Haider Denmark Hye-Young Shim Korea
Bronze Nhat Thong Ho Vietnam Guiru Yuan China
Bronze Younes Sekkat Morocco Jennifer Delgado Spain


Bantamweight division Men
(127.9-136.7 lbs)
(112.4-121.25 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Dae-Hyu Ko Korea Wang Su China
Silver Ahmet Evcimen Turkey Jae-Eun Jung Korea
Bronze Mark Lopez USA Mei Chun Meng Chinese Taipei
Bronze Ron Ivan Spain Christina Bach Switzerland


Featherweight division Men
(136.7-147.7 lbs)
(121.25-130 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Hyun-Goo No Korea Hae-Eun Kang Korea
Silver Jesper Roesen Denmark Iridia Salazar Blanco Mexico
Bronze Wenjin Dong Chinese Taipei Gael Texier Canada
Bronze Zas Franscisco Spain Reyes Sonia Spain


Lightweight division Men
(147.7-158.7 lbs)
(130-138.9 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold H.Saeibonehkohal Iran Hyang-Mi Cho Korea
Silver Byung-Uk Kim Korea Hui Jing Zhang China
Bronze Rosendo Alonso Spain Ekaterina Noskova Russia
Bronze Sergio Cardenas Chile Lisa O'Keefe Australia


Welterweight division Men
(158.7-171.9 lbs)
(138.9-147.7 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Jong-O Jang Korea Elena Benitez Spain
Silver Bahri Tanrikulu Turkey Mirjam Muskens Netherlands
Bronze Rodriguez Martina Huert Mexico Wan Chen Chang Chinese Taipei
Bronze Joshua Coleman USA Barbara Pak Canada


Middleweight division Men
(171.9-185.2 lbs)
(147.7-158.7 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold M. Aflakikhamseh Iran Yoon-Kyung Kim Korea
Silver Yasin Yagiz Turkey Lallana Ibone Spain
Bronze Faissal Ebnoutalib Germany Zhong Chen China
Bronze Saginolykov Adikham Kazakhstan Filiz Nur Aydin Turkey


Heavyweight division Men
(over 185.2 lbs)
(over 158.7 lbs)
Name Nation Name Nation
Gold Dae-Sung Moon Korea Ching Yi Kao Chinese Taipei
Silver Mictar Dounbia France Dominique Bosshart Canada
Bronze Daniel Trenton Australia Maria Koniahina Russia
Bronze Montesinos Ruben Spain Laurence Rase Belgium

In the men's competition, Korea came out on top in team standings with 95 points, followed by Iran with 43 points and Turkey with 38 points.

In the women's competition, Korea led with 70 points, followed by Spain with 51 points and Chinese Taipei with 47 points.

For more information on this exciting tae kwon do tournament, consult the following links:

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